Over at Variety, they’re reporting that Twilight star Robert Pattinson is nearing a deal for a new gig. The actor might find himself up against Oscar winners Sean Penn and Reese Witherspoon with the film Water for Elephants. The title may sound funny but the plot is no joking matter. This sounds like another melodrama that Pattinson can add to his roster of upcoming projects.

Water for Elephants is based on the best selling novel of the same name by Sara Gruen. The story from 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.

But the description given by Variety states that it’s about “a Cornell University 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.” Doesn’t that sound like an interesting contrast? I’m assuming Pattinson will play the young student and maybe Penn will be the middle version before they get to the older man.

At the moment things are still up in the air and the studio won’t confirm the details. All we know for sure is that the film will be directed by Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend).

Do you think Pattinson has the talent to hang with Witherspoon and Penn?