Orlando Bloom: headed back to Australia in '09!

It's official, folks: Orlando Bloom has signed up, along with French actor Vincent Cassel, to shoot a movie downunder.

He'll be arriving here in June or July, and the movie shoots in July. The project is called The Cross, and is being described as "a sci-fi escape story." It's shooting on a $24m budget, so it's on a little bit of a shoestring by today's standards ... good idea to film it downunder -- it's cheaper here!

This makes a break -- could be a welcome one?? -- for Orlando, who's done three of the most enormous fantasy movies, and then another five or six historicals that I can think of, and a small number of contemporary films that didn't go down too well. (I really liked Elizabethtown ... I caught on to its loopy sense of humor and laughed my a$$ off, but apparently some people just didn't see the joke. Well -- their loss.)

Am I right, is The Cross the first big Hollywood picture to be filmed down here since Nicholas Cage in Ghostrider?

Here's just about all that's known about the movie at this time: Orlando Bloom to star in 'The Cross' ... that story ran about a week ago, but at the time I saw a few pages that put a big question mark against Orlie's name -- would he be in it, wouldn't he? Seems, he will!

It'll be the first time he's been down here in Aus since making Ned Kelly with Heath Ledger ... and it's interesting that Vincent Cassel has an odd kind of connection: he starred in Eastern Promises with Viggo Mortensen, who starred with Orlie in Lord of the Rings. Full circle. Nice.

Now, how about some eye candy, thanks very much! Here goes:

Want more? Come back tomorrow! There's plenty of candy for the senses -- and a lot to talk about...