It seems that Francis Lawrence's new film project has traded an Oscar winner for an Oscar-nominated Jew Hunter. Deadline Hollywood Daily is reporting that Inglourious Basterds star Christoph Waltz has replaced Sean Penn in Water for Elephants.

It was said that Penn seemed to be a lock for the role, but when a deal couldn't be made, Waltz stepped in and will be playing a villainous circus animal trainer in this Depression-era love-triangle story that also stars Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon. Pattinson will play a young veterinary student who joins a two-bit circus and falls for the star of the show (Witherspoon), even though she is married to Waltz's character.

Francis Lawrence is directing from a script by Richard LaGravanese, which is adapted from the Sara Gruen novel. It wasn't clear when the film would go before cameras as of yet.