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Water For Elephants Film Adaptation Getting Fast-Tracked

Sara Gruen's bestselling novel Water For Elephants has apparently been at the center of a competitive bidding war among movie studios, with victory going to Fox 2000. The studio beat out Warner Bros., Universal, and Paramount for the rights, mostly because of "the company's passion and track record with literary adaptations." The Hollywood Reporter has more:

The book centers on a 90-year-old man reminiscing about his life and is set during the Depression, when he found work at a B-level circus taking care of the animals. He sees the brutality of circus life while falling for the wife of an abusive animal trainer.

Fox 2000 president Elizabeth Gabler acknowledged the translation might face challenges because of the nature of the story, yet she believes in the project's power.

"It's a period movie," she said, "and it's a circus movie . . . It is a risky piece of material, but there is a lot going for it. It's inspirational and it packs a lot of punch. And it'll attract a lot of talented people."

I Am Legend director Francis Lawrence will direct.

Have you read Water for Elephants? Do you have any casting suggestions? Should I make this book one of my Buzz Book Club selections?


Join The Conversation
yeokr yeokr 7 years
I've only just finished reading it and these are my thoughts -- even though it is already cast.. Christoph Waltz is absolutely perfect - charming and insanely terrifying Robert Pattinson, I'm ambivalent.. but I don't hate it Reese Witherspoon is the one I'm struggling with most, and mostly because she is 9 or 10 years older than who she is meant to be opposite..if only there was an actress who looks like Scarlett Johansson but wasn't her, that would be my pick.. or - I can't think of her name, but the Shoshannah from Basterds.
ainsley1 ainsley1 8 years
I've got it! James McAvoy as Jacob.
ainsley1 ainsley1 8 years
Amy Adams should be cast as Marlena and Kevin Spacey as August. Philip Seymour Hoffman as Uncle Al.....lots of make-up to age him. I haven't figured out who should play Jacob yet.....
smallz57089 smallz57089 8 years
I think that Emile Hirsch would be perfect for the main character Also, I don't know how no one has mentioned this, but the PERFECT August would be Daniel Day Lewis. It's the perfect role for him. i think when this movie gets made, it will be an Oscar movie.
jkelly1229 jkelly1229 8 years
Great book! I new before I was half way thru that this could be a blockbuster movie. It has everything going for it - the time period is historical and interesting,(great use of flasback possibilities here) a love triangle, a circus, and an animal stampede. What more could you possibly want? I forget multi generation appeal. Cast - Leading man, The Vet - Dicaprio. Abusive Animal Trainer - Mark Wahlberg. Ringmaster and head of Circus - Tommy Lee Jones. The Girl? Alot of possibilities but how about Natalie Portman? Amy Smart? Scarlet Johanson?
joanna33t joanna33t 8 years
I'm with others - LOVED the book and I think the movie will be great. Not sure about the director, only because I think the only thing I've seen from him is I Am Legend and I would definitely picture Water For Elephants to be more colorful and visually stimulating... a la Tim Burton's Big Fish (one of my all-time favorite movies). Either way, I def. recommend the book and can't wait for the movie :)
arienne arienne 8 years
I read this book and wish I hadn't. It's very well written, but I felt depressed for days afterwards. I couldn't stop thinking about the horrible things that happened to people and animals in the circuses. Maybe I'm just too soft?
chocolatine chocolatine 8 years
felicityporter, I too was thinking of Rachel McAdams as Marlena. But for the main character I'd prefer Ryan Gosling - we know from The Notebook how much chemistry the pair of them have. Also, Billy Zane for August. He does great villians.
lily8206 lily8206 8 years
I absolutely loved this book. It is definitely one of the books I suggest to friends the most. I'm so skeptical about them changing this into a movie though. The casting choices could make or break it for me.
felicityporter felicityporter 8 years
Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams as the main couple. That would be my pick.
christie christie 8 years
This book was amazing! Definitely one of the favorites that I've read recently. Lee Pace seems older than who I'd pick for the starring role, maybe because I listened to the audiobook. He's supposed to be in his last year of college/vet school. I just hope they don't try to shove Scarlett Johannsen in the role of Marlena...Hmmm Zooey Deschanel could work though. I'm not sure who could pull off August.
suziryder suziryder 8 years
Oo I've had this book on my "must read" list for a long time. It'd be great if you did it as Buzz Book Club book!
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
JCP — Yeah, I had the same thought when I saw Richard LaGravenese's name, but he also wrote the screenplay for The Fisher King, which I loved. So, maybe there's hope?
JCP0240 JCP0240 8 years
When I first saw this headline I was very excited, that is until I saw who would be writing the adaptation. Richard LaGravenese also adapted P.S. I love you to the big screen which I really didn't like after reading reading the amazing book. I love this book and hope he actually sticks to the story & characters.
buckley9383 buckley9383 8 years
This book has been one of the best I've read in a long time- I'm skeptical of how well it will translate to film but I agree with Allyace- Lee Pace would be perfect for the starring role!
Phasekitty Phasekitty 8 years
I was wondering when they'd make this- I didn't realize it was the center of a major bidding war!
Allyace Allyace 8 years
I love love love this book. It would be great to see Lee Pace as the main character. If they do it right, this movie could be wonderful!
mswender mswender 8 years
This book is so wonderful!!!
Kaysnowboarder Kaysnowboarder 8 years
loved the book - cannot wait to see the movie!!
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