Everyone expected Francis Lawrence’s big screen version of Sara Gruen’s bestselling novel Water For Elephants to be a summer blockbuster, probably because Lawrence is the helmer of big budget horror/actioners I Am Legend and Constantine – but Flashpoint Entertainment have released the trailer today and it’s much more a schmaltzy, period romantic drama.
It’s a massive change of pace for Lawrence and also a platform for lead Robert Pattinson to show us that he could have a career outside of those Twilight movies.
Here he stars as a veterinary student who joins the traveling circus as a vet when he gives up schooling after his parents are killed. There he falls in love with marquee performer Reese Witherspoon, the wife of Christoph Waltz – at once a charming circus ringmaster, but if you cross him he turns into Col. Hans Landa and you don’t want to be around him.
Of course you will recognise Nick Cave’s score from The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford which is temped for the trailer and it’s fitting because Lawrence utilises the same slow-mo techniques as Andrew Dominik did to heighten the haunting mystique of the period, and it works.
I’m expecting a lot from Waltz on this one, mainly because he gave up the Sigmund Freud role in David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method to make this movie, and apart from the paycheck I want to see what drew him to it.
Water For Elephants is due April 15th in the U.S. and April 22nd in the U.K.