Robert Pattinson in ‘Water for Elephants’

The stars of “Twilight” are certainly capitalizing on the success of the angsty vampire phenomenon. I just wonder: with such a large portion of the ensemble landing roles in other films, what will that mean for the production of the still-unannounced adaptation of “Breaking Dawn,” the final chapter in Stephenie Meyer’s series? Hard to say, but that definitely leaves a big question mark hovering over this latest bit of potential casting news.

The word is that Robert Pattinson may soon be sharing a bill with two-time Best Actor Oscar winner Sean Penn in an adaptation of Sara Gruen’s best-selling book, “Water for Elephants,”Variety reported yesterday. The news describes the two superstars as “circling” the gig — ie they’re in talks right now — though Variety mentions that Pattinson at least will likely land the part.

The adaptation will be directed by “I Am Legend” helmer Francis Lawrence, from a script penned by Richard LaGravenese. The story follows a young man — presumably Pattinson — who drops out of school after his parents are killed to join the circus. Penn would play a disturbed animal trainer who works for said circus while the previously confirmed Reese Withspoon would play his wife.

Fox 2000’s plan is to be shooting by June. Meaning anyone who had hopes that “Breaking Dawn” would shoot over the summer for a fall 2010 release had best adjust their expectations. It seems more likely that “Twilight” fans will be waiting at least a year before they see the Meyer adaptations wrap up, more if Summit goes ahead with the rumored plan to break the final book into two films. I don’t think there’s really a chance that “Breaking Dawn” won’t happen, but these various “Twilight” actor casting announcement do have me wondering at the “when.”

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