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Robert Pattinson to Star Opposite Reese Witherspoon in 'Water for Elephants'

January 22, 2010, 3:28 am GMT

If the deal is closed, the young actor will take the role of a veterinary student who falls in love with Reese Witherspoon's character in the upcoming romantic drama.

Robert Pattinson

Robert Pattinson could be seen dealing with animals in his next movie. According to Variety, the British actor is in negotiation with Fox 2000 Pictures to star in "Water for Elephants", a movie adaptation of Sara Gruen's 2006 bestseller with the same title, and his deal is expected to close.

Pattinson is being offered the role of Jacob Jankowski, an orphaned veterinary student who is put in charge of caring for the animals in a traveling circus. His character will later fall in love with beautiful equestrian rider Marlena. Unfortunately, Marlena has married to the troupe's charismatic but dangerous animal trainer August.

Reese Witherspoon has been tapped to star as the love interest of Jacob. Meanwhile, the studio has offered the role of Reese's on-screen husband to Sean Penn, but the 49-year-old actor is still mulling the role.

"Water for Elephants" which focuses on a love triangle among circus employees during a Depression era in America will be directed by Francis Lawrence. Meanwhile, Richard LaGravenese is set to write the script with Gil Netter, Erwin Stoff and Andrew Tennenbaum serving as producers. The studio eyes to start shooting this drama film in June.

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