The feature has been in the works since 2007, and recently saw Pattinson and Penn circling. But Penn looks to be out as Christoph waltzes in -- and I'm betting the movie will be all the better for it. Pattinson will play a kid who drops out of veterinary school when financial turmoil descends, and joins a crappy, 2nd-rate traveling circus. He falls for the star performer (Witherspoon), but there's a catch -- she's married to "a dangerous paranoid schizophrenic animal trainer who is as mean to his wife as he is to the circus creatures." With Penn, okay that could be good. But with Waltz as the creepy psycho? You know there will be some delightful layers to that performance.
Overall, however, I can't imagine how this will play out. Waltz will be delightfully creepy, that's for sure, and while Pattinson has his famous vampire role, he's also got a lot of weirdo gigs under his belt. But I'm dying to see Witherspoon, and am really hoping that she channels some of the less-mainstream work of her past mixed with a harder, stranger adult edge. If anyone can pull it out of her, I'd say it's Waltz.