Sean Penn & Robert Pattinson Will Have 'Water for Elephants'

January 21, 2010

Sean Penn & Robert Pattinson

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.

Find more posts: Casting, Movie News, Opinions



He doesn't deserve to even talk to Penn, let alone work with him. This is just sad news, my day is officially ruined. FUCK EVERYONE FROM TWILIGHT!!!!

guh on Jan 21, 2010


Agreed, hate Twilight but at least Rob is going for movies that will challenge him, hopefully one of them will show him actually doing some good acting.

M on Jan 21, 2010


I thought the book was good, if you are in to that sort of thing. But it is my opinion that this movie will not work with Pattinson and Witherspoon. Also, the book jumps back and forth between Jacob's youth while working the cirus and his old age in a nursing home. So the casting of the older Jacob is just as important.

germs on Jan 21, 2010


The guy wants to become a great actor. We shouldn't hate on the guy just because he got his career kick started by Twilight.

darunia on Jan 21, 2010


Ethan, if you knew anything about what you're trying to write about, you'd know that LaGravanese has already done the script and you can easily find it online. And the script has much less of old Jacob.

B. Have on Jan 21, 2010


@4...Yes. Yes we should.

guh on Jan 21, 2010


Better Pattinson than that Efron guy

rs007 on Jan 21, 2010


@ #5, If you knew anything about being a decent human being you might try conveying valuable information that we may have misconstrued without coming off like an insufferable know-it-all! Thanks!

Ethan Anderton on Jan 21, 2010


lol @ #1 dude you sound just as rediculous as the twilight fangirls. this news has ruined your day?... really? must not have a very exciting life

Elhoopso on Jan 21, 2010


Here here! I am thrilled to hear this news! Robert desearves more artsy flicks.

Melissa on Jan 21, 2010


I give him credit as well for trying to do artsy flicks but what has he done? Twilight and a bunch of melodromatic romantics, which this one will probably turn out to be although this script might turn out pretty well. I actually like Taylor Lautners career path better, more excitement. Well anyway I shouldnt be pondering these two guys' issues anyway should I.

Scott McHenry on Jan 21, 2010


LOL at Scott McHenry, pondering these two guys' issues... 🙂 But do you think Rob Pattinson's past roles are all melodromatic romantics? How to Be is kind of like a dark comedy, I guess- he is in a funk and learns about himself and his dysfunctional family after his girlfriend has dumped him. Spoiler alert: he never gets her back. In the Haunted Airman he plays a guy who is tortured by real or imagined critters after being injured in the war. He is jilted by a woman he loves but there's not much really romantic about it. It's disturbing. I heard that Remember Me is about more serious family-issues than romance, but I am sure there are romantic parts. His upcoming Bel Ami will definitely have lots of love-making, but he's pretty much a cad in that movie, not a hero. What kind of roles would you think would be better for him to try?

Amzy on Jan 21, 2010


You know, I give this writer credit because he can separate Pattinson from Twilight unlike so many other people. The guy took a job and people hate him for it? What kind of logic is that? He was broke and needed work and he got offered Twilight. Big deal. Had it not happened that way, none of the opportunities he's getting now would even be possible. Don't you think he at least deserves a shot to prove his worth? No one on earth can be judged by Twilight with crap script and crap everything else. Obviously there's something in Pattinson that people in Hollywood and beyond have recognized as talented and I think they know a lot more than we do as the general public to judge that sort of thing. The kid is 23 years old and he's been in a handful of teeny cheap movies that few people have even seen. Give him some time and some work with good people and you may change your tune. The calliber of people signing on to work with Rob do not need to do so or risk their reputations to work with talentless heartthrobs. There's more to him and when he gets the right role with the right director and the stars align, maybe more people will ease up and give him a chance and recognize there's something more than they can see with their eyes and minds closed. Twilight's hard enough for anyone to shake off let alone someone people hate on for sport these days. Give the guy a break already...

Cassy on Jan 21, 2010


I'm no Twilight fan but i do think Robert Pattinson is a good actor. In the next couple of years people will be changing there minds about him as they will have to open there eyes and see that he can act and he's not just a twilight pretty boy (unlike that bunch of muscles and no personality Taylor whats his name who can't act his way out of a wet paper bag) This role will be perfect for Rob....congrats Rob and Sean...hope this works out

Richard on Jan 21, 2010


I like the fact that he's trying to escape the Twilight thing. Good for him. Yes, take notes wolfboy.

Kim on Jan 21, 2010


I am thrilled! I read the book and the script and it's going to be truly amazing. I think the casting is terrific!

Alyssa on Jan 21, 2010


I don't care what the haters say, Rob Can Act. When I saw the first Twilight I knew nothing about him. I didn't know Rob was British. I thought he was American or Canadian. His acting is so natural and effortless. It doesn't come off as overdone. Then I saw the Bad Mother's Handbook; he's freakin' funny. Somebody needs to give him a comedy. I saw Little Ashes Hello! Serious steamy scenes with that other dude. On top of that have you heard his voice? That haunting voice does not even match him. In addition He plays Guitar and Piano. I hope he doesn't give up music (which I think is a truer talent than "fakery". That guy is supertalented.

ap on Jan 21, 2010


Like all the Star Wars, LOTR, Harry Potter, etc actors they need to know to get away from doing anything like that franchise ASAP to avoid being typecasted. It did work for Orlando Bloom though (Kingdom of Heaven and Troy)

branden on Jan 22, 2010


I really respect Rob, I find he chosen widely within Hollywood. He could've taken the easy way and chosen blockbusters and other films that these flash in the pan heartthrobs take before they disappear (yes Taylor Lautner, I mean you) but he hasn't. The films he's chosen sound interesting and challenging - there's a lot more to Remember Me than romance, believe me. The trailer was misleading in that aspect. In Bel Ami he plays pretty much an asshole but it'll be a brilliant character to perform and will hopefully showcase his talent! I have yet to read Water For Elephants but it's definitely my next book from the summary though it sounds like Rob has chosen yet another role to really sink his teeth into. I am excited to see him perform with some really great actors too, he'll learn a lot from them. It's a shame that after this, he will go back to Twilight and film Breaking Dawn.

Mia on Jan 26, 2010


I've read Water for Elephants, and it is a fantastic book. I think Rob is perfect for the role of Jacob. I am really excited about this, and hope that Rob will soon be confirmed as part of the cast!!!

Becca on Jan 30, 2010


#16 - Alyssa. I loved the book as well. Where can I find the script?

Susan on Feb 15, 2010


I am sickened. Sickened. Sean Penn is a genious, an actor of high calliber, why would he even go near Robert pattinson. This world is going to hell.

Lena on Feb 16, 2010

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