The “Twilight” hero will play the role of a Cornell student who drops out of college and runs off to join the circus.

Robert Pattinson’s character is studying veterinary medicine when his parents die. Devastated he drops out of college and joins a circus called Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth, where he takes a job as a vet looking after the animals, Variety has revealed.

Reese Witherspoon plays Marlena, a beautiful equestrian performer, while Sean Penn may have the role of her mad but talented animal-training husband.

Witherspoon and Pattinson are definitely on for the film. Irish-American actor Sean Penn is currently in Haiti working on a humanitarian project, and he has yet to confirm whether he will take part.

The movie is set in the Depression, and has the strange title, "Water for Elephants."

Robert Pattinson will play a Cornell veterinary student.