the industry

Sean Penn and Robert Pattinson to Join the Circus?

The Greatest Movie on Earth: Sean Penn and Robert Pattinson are in negotiations to join Reese Witherspoon in the cast of Depression-era drama Water for Elephants. Adapted from Sara Guren’s novel, the story is about a Cornell veterinary student (Pattinson) who drops out of school after his parents are killed and takes a gig as a circus vet. Witherspoon will play a beautiful equestrian, Penn would play her demented animal training husband and, since it’s about a circus, Verne Troyer will have a role in there somewhere. [Variety]

Dead On: Isla Fisher, Andy Serkis and Tom Wilkinson have joined Simon Pegg in John Landis’ horror-comedy Burke and Hare. The film is based on the true story of a couple of Britain’s most notorious serial killers who sold the corpses of their victims to a medical school. Pegg is playing one killer while Serkis plays the other. Fisher will play Pegg’s girlfriend and Wilkinson a corpse-seeking professor. Sounds like a real laugh! [Heat Vision/THR]

Yo Ho Ho: Rob Marshall has finally been confirmed as the director of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, the fourth installment of the series. The rumors of Marshall taking over for Gore Verbinski, who jumped ship after the third installment, have been around since August. But now that Marshall knows he won’t be bothered by having to attend award shows, he’s free to start work on this. [AP]

They Know Pilots: TNT went wild picking up pilots yesterday. To its already robust slate of dramas come Steven Spielberg’s untitled alien invasion drama starring Noah Wyle, the George Clooney-produced Delta Blues starring Jason Lee and Rizzoli & Isles starring Angie Harmon. Each show has been given a 10 show order. Blues and Rizzoli will hit the air waves this year, while the alien show will arrive in 2011 because it requires more special effects and frankly, the world isn’t ready for it. [THR]

It’s Alive: Danny Boyle has plans to direct a production of Frankenstein at the UK’s National Theater during the upcoming season. The stage is nothing new to Boyle, who directed many productions before venturing into film. Because he likes to cast real people, Boyle is now off to find a creature with bolts in its neck to play his lead. We wish him luck. [Variety]

Sean Penn and Robert Pattinson to Join the Circus?