Water for Elephants was a surprise hit. It reached #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, captivating audiences with its young-old protagonist, timeless love story and circus theme. It even has a big leading lady named Rosie, the elephant. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen was never supposed to succeed; Gruen was rejected many times by publishers but never gave up. She finally found a small publisher, Algonquin Books, who helped turn Gruen’s book into a huge success.
From that success, not only came a bevy of die-hard Gruen fans, but a feature-length movie based on the novel. The lead role of Jacob goes to Robert Pattinson, more commonly known as “Edward” in the Twilight Saga movies. The beautiful Marlena, Jacob’s love interest, is played by Reese Witherspoon. And Oscar winner Christoph Waltz (of Inglourious Basterds fame) plays August, the villain. The choice of Pattinson raised many eyebrows, so it will be interesting to see how he is received by audiences in the role of Jacob.
Water for Elephants hits theaters on April 22, 2011. The book is wonderful and has a magnificent, larger-than-life presence. We’re hoping the movie is the same.