Choo Choo! The circus is comin’ to town! *NEW* Filming Details

Hope everyone is ready for news to start pouring in rapidly! Filming looks to kick off Thursday!!!


The Ventura County Star reported some exciting details regarding ‘Water For Elephants’ production. As we already know, filming takes place in Santa Paula & Filmore, CA…two small towns located in Ventura County, just outside Los Angeles County.

This is gonna be the most spectacular MOVIE on earth!

Read the VCStar article to continue filling your brain with as much WFE info humanly possible:

“Ladies-s-s-s-s-s-s and gentlemen-n-n-n-n-n-n-n! Twen-n-n-n-nty-five minutes till the big show!” barks Cecil, a circus sideshow talker in the novel “Water for Elephants.

Well, the exact start time isn’t clear, but the circus — or at least the circus train — is coming to Fillmore this week.

The county of Ventura confirmed that a production company has taken out a film permit for Thursday to start shooting a movie in Fillmore. That project is likely a Fox 2000 film based on “Water for Elephants,” Sara Gruen’s best-selling Depression-era novel about a traveling circus.

No big tops have been reported in Fillmore or environs, but on Sunday, circus trains and wagons painted with the words “Benzini Bros. Most Spectacular Show on Earth,” the circus in Gruen’s book, were spotted in the city’s downtown.

People in Ventura County responsible for permits and other film shooting issues did not provide detailed information on the film, which is expected to star some well-known actors.

The lead roles are played by Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Cristoph Waltz, “Twilight” heartthrob Robert Pattinson, and Emmy and Tony winner Hal Holbrook.

Pattinson plays “young” Jacob Jankowski, a 23-year-old Ivy League veterinary student who, after his parents are killed just before he’s about to graduate, ends up working with animals at a circus.

Holbrook is “old” Jacob, the story’s narrator, when he is “ninety. Or ninety three,” living not so happily in a nursing home, where he reminisces about his circus days.

Witherspoon plays Marlena Rosenbluth, a circus performer who does an equestrian act. Waltz, who won as Oscar this year for “Inglourious Basterds,” plays her husband, cruel animal trainer August Rosenbluth.

The film’s screenplay is by Richard LaGravenese, with Francis Lawrence directing.

Continue reading about location details and view more Benzini Bros train car PICS after the jump!

Early news reports noted that “Water for Elephants” would start filming in Santa Paula and Fillmore in May. Patty Harrison, film liaison for the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce, and Patrick Maynard, film permit coordinator for the Fillmore Film Commission, said no film permit for “Water for Elephants” had been applied for in either city.

A meeting agenda for the Fillmore Film Commission dated April 7, however, noted that a “large production called ‘Water for Elephants’ is planned to be shot in the area. The production will go on for approximately 30 days.”

Fillmore’s Maynard did reveal that the city had rented a parking lot at Santa Clara and Mountain View streets to a company for a production called “Jerry Novak’s Big Adventure.”

On Monday, Ventura County senior planner Becky Linder confirmed that a production company has taken out a film permit to start shooting “Jerry Novak’s Big Adventure” in Fillmore and “other locations around the county” on Thursday.

“Jerry Novak” isn’t a character in the book, but on Sunday, at the Santa Clara and Mountain View site, a dirt lot near the tracks of the Fillmore & Western Railway Co., a large rental fence had been erected with a black covering around it. A look inside a crack in the gate revealed more than 10 red, yellow and orange boxy circus wagons, some with ornate decorations.

In Gruen’s book, she describes circus wagons that “are painted scarlet, with gold trim and sunburst wheels, each emblazoned with the name ‘Benzini Bros. Most Spectacular Show on Earth.”

In Fillmore, “Benzini Bros. Circus” was printed in gold letters on some of the wagons.

Also, on the tracks next to the lot, about 10 old-fashioned railroad cars — boxcars, flatcars and passenger cars — sat on the tracks. Painted maroon, several of them were printed with “Benzini Bros. Circus” and “Most Spectacular Show on Earth.” A few had bales of hay inside.

The Fillmore & Western Railway, which offers vintage train rides through Fillmore and Santa Paula, also coordinates and consults on film, TV and commercial productions that involve trains. The company said, as with any movie, it could neither deny nor confirm filming activity.

The air is crackling with excitement! Can you feel it?! The Kinkers promise to bring you as many deets as possible to keep filling that brain :)

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About tinkrbe1l3

Fan and supporter of all things Robert Pattinson. Co-chauffeur on, co-blogger on, co-kinker on, as well as upcoming films:,,,, Co-blogger on
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27 Responses to Choo Choo! The circus is comin’ to town! *NEW* Filming Details

  1. Lynne Edmunds says:

    I am soooo excited for this movie, I’ve just finished reading the book and Jacob Jankowski is an awesome character…Rob is going to be amazing. My heart did a flip when I saw the pics of the Benzini Brothers circus train this morning…I can’t wait to see more and more of this filming!! Bring it on…..

  2. Judy says:

    Can’t wait to read every typed word or tweet. Some very talented actors are in this film and I for one cannot wait to see the finished version. Thanks!

  3. Shae says:

    Yes I can, it’s very exciting and I saw just the pics of the train cars with the Benzini Bros logo on them about a half hour ago and I squeed a little :D lol

  4. Shae says:

    That’s another thing- I read the script last week after having it for months and it’s amazing so I plan to pick up the book tomorrow if I can find it.

  5. passionsonsflower says:

    Can’t wait to get all the fun and exciting details from you ladies. I’m sure it’s gonna be a fun ride.

  6. Aeren says:

    thanks, Can´t wait for more information!!!

  7. Lynne Edmunds says:

    I read the script last night and unusually the script is as good as, if not better than, the book itself! I totally immersed myself in 1930’s circus life reading this book and really need to read it again. Looking forward to seeing Robowski!! I love his new haircut by the way <3

  8. GlassGirl1972 says:

    Just got the book this week! This really makes me want to get it read faster! Does anybody know the set release date of the movie?

  9. Jo Hyland says:

    Lynne I was actually a bit disappointed in some of the stuff added in the script and especially the combining of two characters into one but understand how and why it had to happen. I think the script does capture the flavour of it but still have a few misgivings because I loved the book so much!! What I do think though is that Rob is perfect for this role – it is almost like the character was written for him to bring to life. The haircut is exactly what I expected but I think giving him a bit of red in it would bring it to life – hope they go there!! Can’t wait to see how it all pans out and looking forward to being kept up to date here with what is going on! Thanks so much – fantastic blog!! :D

  10. Dee says:

    Anyone else wish they could hop the train and be a stowaway? It was great to see the pics of the train. Thanks.

  11. holdmeransom says:

    so exciting! Filllmore is great! (was last there with Thomas the Tank Engine-don’t laugh!) and is very beautiful with a vintage look.
    very excited to see the set pics as they come in!
    thanks for the great pics so far!

  12. lori says:

    Some people have mentioned they have read the script… how can I get a copy of the script myself? Is that available online somewhere?

  13. PDXMadeline says:

    If you’re planning on coming out to see filming, it gets pretty hot here so bring lots of water and dress for the weather. This morning it’s cool but supposed to be hot the rest of the week. Looking forward to watching the book come to life!

  14. LittleMo says:

    I just finished this book and i LOVED it!!! Thanks for sharing the pics of the train :)

  15. Lisa says:

    Soooooo exciting to see these pictures!! I’m really confident that this movie is going to be fantastic. :O)

  16. andrea says:

    ohh, ich read the book and like it sooo much, i think rob as jacob is beautiful, i´m looking forward to the movie and the pictures of them

  17. NordicNina says:

    Ahhhhwww, I wish I could be there but Sweden is a bit too far away :-( I´m happy to see the pics and look forward to see more. I´m just about to read the book in swedish and wish u all a great journey on the circus adventure! Glad to be a here!

  18. Alison4828 says:

    Squeeeeeeeee! Go baby go! Can’t wait for set pics to come rolling in too seems like a lot of outside filming so hopefully someone with a super long lens (hint, hint) gets us some great shots!

  19. jan says:

    Gotta chime in with a big “SQUEEEEE!!!”

    Thanks for all the wonderful info on the making of this movie!

    However, as I do not intend to read the script (so as to keep a fresh perspective), can anyone juz indicate to me if the funny scene between Barbara/Jacob/Nell is included?

    Thanks again!

  20. Pingback: Damas y caballeros…con uds. ..El Circo « The Vampire Club

  21. Pingback: Water For Elephants Filming Locations in Fillmore, CA

  22. Lea says:

    SO exciting!!

    Does anyone feel like doing some exploring around the area with me?? I need an exploration buddy! I can bring my camera… I should buy a better lense!

  23. Chris says:

    Good job on the railcars. Hopefully they do the stunts on green screen. That would be scary to “jump” across those cars!

    Love Rob’s hair–I hope that they are NOT going to dye Rob’s hair red. Maybe some highlights.

  24. MsLiss says:

    thanks Kinkers for showing us all the details!
    love it!

  25. control7 says:

    i live in fillmore!!! hopefully i get to see that dude from twilight

  26. Only1Me says:

    I am hearing filming starts on Thursday on some sites, and then Sunday on others. I am planning on coming down but skipping work and traveling a good distance so I want to make sure my odds of catching a glimpse of Rob are good :) Does anyone have more details? Is it Santa Paula or Fillmore?

  27. Only1Me says:

    Thanks for the info on the book too! I am going to buy a copy tomorrow!

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