Christoph Waltz Replacing Sean Penn in Water for Elephants

February 17, 2010
Source: Deadline

Christoph Waltz / Water for Elephants

It sounds like Sean Penn is having a bit of trouble coming back from his recent self-imposed break from acting as Deadline Hollywood reports that the deal for him to star in Francis Lawrence's adaptation of Sara Gruen's novel Water for Elephants slipped through the cracks and has been picked up by Christoph Waltz who is sweeping the awards circuit for his amazing performance as Col. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds. Waltz will play the husband of the star of a 2nd-rate traveling circus, a dangerous paranoid schizophrenic animal trainer who is as mean to his wife as he is to the circus creatures. That's a bingo!

A love triangle is at the source of the story as Jacob (Robert Pattinson), a 21 year-old Cornell Unviersity veterinary student 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 and 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 who just so happens to runs the show. Sounds like new territory for Lawrence who's only worked previously on music videos, comic adaptations like Constantine and I Am Legend, and TV most recently. Should be interesting.

Find more posts: Casting, Movie News, Opinions



good, Sean Penn is a good actor but Waltz is a way better choice.

Xerxex on Feb 17, 2010


Couldnt see Sean doing this picture to begin with. Waltz is good choice.

People's Champ on Feb 17, 2010


That IS a bingo! I love this man.

giraffic on Feb 17, 2010


Sounds a bit odd to me. Pattinson plays the protagonist Jacob, Witherspoon is Marlena. Okay so far. Then we have the brutal animal trainer, Marlena's husband August AND the mean and violent circus owner Uncle Al. Christoph Waltz will play the character of August, the husband? But WHO plays Uncle Al then? I could imagine that Sean Penn is still in to play August and Waltz plays Uncle Al instead. Other characters are the dwarf Kinko, the alcoholic Camel and the nurse Rosemary. Anyway, great news, because of the Waltz-factor.

ed on Feb 18, 2010


Waltz is a good actor, he deserves some juicy roles. I just hope he's not getting type-casted as a bad guy.

Daniel on Feb 18, 2010


sean penn (with pacino) brilliant actor loved him in carlitio's way,i heard his pretty fucking good in milk,didn't he get an oscar win for that.why wouldn't you want him?




Voice of Reason on Feb 18, 2010


"a dangerous paranoid schizophrenic animal trainer" Well it seems were probably going to get another mesmerizing role out of this uberly talented guy.....awesome.

Cody on Feb 18, 2010


just rewatched "Inglourius Basterds" again for the 8th time and this news is exciting!!!!

Lando Calrizzle on Feb 18, 2010


amazing actor!

cyrus the virus on Feb 18, 2010


Sean Penn squandered his star power pursuing Marxist twitdom and is now absolute poison at the box office. He will NEVER head up a major film again, ever. I hope he ends up homeless and eating out of garbage cans.

Slan Man on Feb 18, 2010


Waltz is a much better choice for this role. Bravo. Now they just need to recast the other two lead roles, and change the title from 'Circus' back to 'Water for Elephants', and maybe it'll be on the path to not being terrible.

Craig on Feb 21, 2010


Waltz isn't half the actor that Penn is. But for now, he's the "it" actor of the moment to overpraise.

Governor on Feb 21, 2010


I'm bummed. I saw Inglorious Bastards and thought Waltz was amazing, so I know he would do justice to the role of August, but when I heard Sean Penn was up for this part I was SO excited. He is EXACTLY what I imagine when I think of August. I think the role of August is PERFECT for him and as much as I like Waltz, I believe that part was MADE for Penn. It's sad the execs, or possibly Penn, don't realize he would just MAKE that movie, if he played the role! Waltz should play Uncle Al....

Erin on Mar 14, 2010


Although Waltz's apparent talent as an actor is undeniable, I think that Daniel Day Lewis is a better choice. August is an extremely complex character which makes me think that Daniel Day Lewis' versatility and intensity as an actor would allow him to portray him accurately. When I think of Waltz, I think of a sort of comedic villain, not an extremely dark, complex one.

Sumi on Jul 13, 2010


Christoph Waltz is a superb choice for he role of August in WFE. I loved the book and look forward to the movie. He is perfect for the part. I was thrilled to learn he will play the part! I hope to see him in many more roles soon.

J.A.M. on Apr 7, 2011

New comments are no longer allowed on this post.



Subscribe to our feed or daily newsletter:

Follow Alex's main account on Twitter:

For only the latest posts - follow this:

Add our posts to your Feedlyclick here

Get all the news sent on Telegram Telegram