Riding the award-circuit wave, Christoph Waltz, multilingual star of Inglourious Basterds, has signed on to star in the depression-era romance drama Water For Elephants. Recall that we originally reported Sean Penn would star as chief villain in the flick, but the latest news indicates Waltz has taken his place.

Waltz, the shoo-in for best supporting actor next month (the best odds you can get are 1/14-1), will join Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, and will play a gruesome, violent circus boss in a depression-era traveling show. Witherspoon will play his abused wife and Pattinson will play the heroic vet.

Francis Lawrence (I Am Legend) will direct the film, written by Richard LaGravenese (The Ref). It is based on a best-selling novel by Sara Gruen. Fox 2000 is likely to begin production this summer.

Waltz will try to reprise his perfectly crafted villain Hans Landa from Inglourious Basterds. I am curious to see if he will pour on the same charm or if he will try a different approach. Either way, he is the man for the job.

Did Hans Landa join the circus? What do you think about Pattinson’s involvement?

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