Thesp in negotiations to star in Crowe pic

Orlando Bloom has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Ashton Kutcher in director Cameron Crowe’s “Elizabethtown.”

Thesp is in negotiations to star opposite Kirsten Dunst in the drama, portraying a suicidal young man who returns to his small Kentucky hometown of Elizabethtown following the death of his father.

Kutcher fell out last fall when, after some second-unit shooting, Crowe pushed the start of the Paramount-DreamWorks’ production back from a first-quarter start to the spring.

Bloom would not be able to start on “Elizabethtown” until he completes work toplining on director Ridley Scott’s “Kingdom of Heaven,” a Crusades-era epic that begins lensing this month in Morocco for 20th Century Fox.

Bloom starred as Legolas in all three “The Lord of the Rings” pics and in “Pirates of the Caribbean: the Curse of the Black Pearl.”

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