Witherspoon, Pattinson star in ‘Water for Elephants’

The movie: “Water for Elephants”

When: Opening Friday at local theaters

Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Robert Pattinson, Christoph Waltz, Hal Holbrook, Paul Schneider

Director: Francis Lawrence

The story: After his parents are killed in an accident, a Depression-era veterinary student abandons his studies — to join a traveling circus, where he falls for the show’s very married star.

The buzz: Screenwriter Richard LaGravanese adapts another best-seller, adding Sara Gruen’s novel to his list of book-to-screen transformations, which also includes “The Bridges of Madison County,” “Beloved” and “The Horse Whisperer.” By contrast, director Lawrence made his name helming music videos for Britney Spears, Janet Jackson and Jennifer Lopez before calling the shots on “Constantine” and “I Am Legend.”

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