Orlando Bloom is returning to London’s West End for the first time in 11 years to star in a revival of Killer Joe.
The Lord of the Rings star will play Joe Cooper, a policeman who moonlights as a contract killer, in the revival of Tracy Lett’s 1993 play of the same name. In the black comedy, Cooper is hired by the Smith family to murder the matriarch for her insurance money.
This marks the first time Orlando has performed on the West End since he made his debut with In Celebration in 2007, and his next stage run since making his Broadway debut with Romeo and Juliet in 2013.
“I’m always looking for an opportunity to get back on stage, especially in London, the heart of my home,” he told the Press Association. “Tracy Letts’ Killer Joe is an incredible, adrenaline-fuelled piece of writing, with a dark and gritty character to play.
“It’s very different from many of the film roles I’m most recognized for… After talking it through with director Simon Evans, I know we will create a production that is polarising, entertaining, dark and funny.”
Joe Cooper has most famously been portrayed by Matthew McConaughey in the 2011 film adaptation of Letts’ play.
The 41-year-old told London’s Evening Standard that he has been craving the stage and is looking forward to spending a prolonged period of time in his native England.
“I just want to enjoy London at that time, a beautiful time of year. I haven’t been home and had some good time in the UK for a little while,” he said.
The Pirates of the Caribbean actor also confessed that he would be heading to the zoo to study animals to find one that helps him find the rhythm and pace of the character, and that he is “riddled” with backstage superstitions that he was hoping to stay in control of.
Killer Joe runs from 18 May (18) to 18 August at London’s Trafalgar Studios.