If the casting rumors are true, Orlando Bloom will play an upstanding engineer named Marcus Attilius Primus in Roman Polanski‘s Pompeii, which will start shooting in August. The rumor mill is also saying that Scarlett Johansson may be cast as as Cornelia, the “defiant daughter of a vile real estate speculator who supplies Marcus with documents implicating her father in a water embezzlement scheme,” according to an Amazon synopsis.
How did Johansson become the dominant period actress of our time? She was right for her role and quite good in Match Point, playing an insecure 21st Century neurotic, but did anyone really believe her as a subservient Dutch maid in The Girl with the Pearl Earring? There’s something about her that’s almost molecularly 21st Century — something common and mall-ish in that vaguely teasing, mind-fucky manner of hers. I didn’t believe her in The Black Dahlia and The Prestige, both period films. And she’s up to more period The Other Boleyn Girl and Mary Queen of Scots.
I thought it had been widely agreed that Johansson hasn’t just been over-rated but is close to over. (Which doesn’t mean “dead” — only that it’s time for a serious career re-think.) Why is it that the internet community always seems to understand the the new modes of perception about this actress or that genre months faster than the filmmakers and the suits?