Friday, January 22, 2010

Rosie the Elephant on the Big Screen

It looks like Rosie the elephant is going to get her close-up. Water for Elephants, the novel by Sara Gruen, has been picked up for the silver screen.

And according to, the cast will likely be star-studded:

Robert Pattinson and Sean Penn are circling Fox 2000's Depression-era drama "Water for Elephants."

Reese Witherspoon has already boarded to the film, which will be directed by Francis Lawrence. Scribe Richard LaGravenese is adapting for the bigscreen.

Based on Sara Gruen's best-selling historical tome of the same name, story centers on a Cornell U. veterinary student who leaves his studies after his parents are killed and joins up with the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, working as a vet for the circus. Witherspoon will play Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August (Penn), the charismatic but twisted animal trainer.

Studio, which is eyeing a June start date, wouldn't confirm details of the project. Gil Netter, Erwin Stoff and Andrew Tennenbaum are producing.

"Twilight" star Pattinson has been on every studio's wish list. His deal is expected to close. Penn, who is in Haiti on a humanitarian mission, is the bigger question mark. He has an offer from the studio but is still mulling the role.

See the article HERE

I think this novel will translate quite well to film. While the writing was my favorite part of the book, the story is incredibly entertaining, powerful, and moving. I could see Penn, Pattinson, and Witherspoon (the only one currently signed) taking on the roles of August, Jacob, and Marlena in a very general sense. But I'm only convinced that Sean Penn is absolutely PERFECT for the role.

I'm not a huge Pattinson fan in general and would prefer someone else personify the character, though I'm interested to see his real acting chops in some of his upcoming films. Jacob is a young, redhead in the historical part of the play and a 90-year-old (or so) man in the present day. It'd be ideal to find an actor who could be aged to play both roles and I just can't see Pattinson being able to pull that one off. I'm imagining Tobey Maguire a la "Seabiscuit"--though he might be a little to harsh. Jacob needs some naivete, though Maguire can do that too I suppose--when he plays Peter Parker, for example. Another good choice would be Ryan Gosling.

Also, while I think Witherspoon is a great actress (check her out in "Walk the Line" if you don't believe me!) and I can see her playing the role of the female in a love triangle and even see her standing atop a galloping horse, Marlena's character is exotic (I have whitewashing on the brain after yesterday's topic). I see her more as Marion Cotillard.

Who do YOU think should play Jacob and Marlena?


  1. I still need to read this book. It was a casuality of my "no time to read adult books" phase when I had my kidlit editorial job. It's on my TBR shelf and I'll hopefully get to it soon, or figure out a way to work in some time to read adult books when I find another kidlit editing job.

  2. Awesome- I think the story could make a great film. Elephants included.

  3. I love that book. I think it will adapt very well. Here's hoping that cast doesn't mess it up, though. Hate to say it, but I think Reese might be a little old for that role. (Or maybe just too established?) Definitely agree that Marlena should be a little more exotic looking. And Robert Pattinson? Oh god, NO! You know they only cast him to draw in the lady fans. Oh well. Regardless, I'll be seeing that movie when it comes out.