Sean Penn & Robert Pattinson Will Have 'Water for Elephants'
by Ethan Anderton
January 21, 2010
No matter how much hate I have for Twilight, I give kudos to Robert Pattinson for not becoming a prototypical young Hollywood heartthrob, but rather sticking with his artistic integrity and choosing films that will challenge him as an actor (take notes Taylor Lautner). Variety reports further evidence of this as the young actor, along with the eclectic Sean Penn, is in talks to join Reese Witherspoon in the Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) directed film Water for Elephants. Based on the Sara Gruen historical novel of the same name, the script has been adapted by Richard LaGravenese, but Fox has not confirmed casting yet.
Deadline Hollywood also got the scoop on specific roles for the cast with Pattinson in talks to play the lead, Jacob, a 21 year-old Cornell Unviersity veterinary student who joins Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, a second-rate traveling circus, after he's traumatized by the car crash death of both parents. He finds his place in the circus by caring for the menagerie of mangy animals. He falls in love with Marlena, the show's star performer (Witherspoon), and that's courting danger since she's married to the paranoid schizophrenic animal trainer (Penn) who runs the show. Sounds like it should be a very exciting to watch.
This would certainly be an interesting return to film for Penn after a bit of a sabbatical. It sounds like Penn will do this before starring in the Farrelly Brother's Three Stooges, since apparently that project is awaiting resolution on the ownership debacle at MGM, rights holders for the Stooges. Either way, I'm anxious for Penn to return to acting. No matter his jerkish exploits and zealous political messages off-screen, he's still an acting tour de force. Water for Elephants is a project we will be keeping our eye on anyway, especially because Francis Lawrence is a pretty good director and we're always interested in whatever he's doing next.