Cameron Crowe Considers Scarlett Johansson, Rachel McAdams, Amy Adams, and Mary Elizabeth Winstead for WE BOUGHT A ZOO

     November 1, 2010

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It’s always a good day when Cameron Crowe news pops up on the net. The Almost Famous director is making the rounds with top female actresses, not the least of which is Scarlett Johansson and Rachel McAdams, in the hopes of casting the female lead for his adaptation of Benjamin Mee’s memoir We Bought a Zoo. Matt Damon and Thomas Hayden Church (Spiderman 3) are on board to star in the film that is being written by Crowe and Aline Brosh McKenna.

Other actresses under consideration, according to Deadline, are Amy Adams (Enchanted) — who was rumored for the role back in October — and Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World). This will be Crowe’s first feature since 2005’s critically panned (and ultimately underappreciated) Elizabethtown. We Bought a Zoo is set for a December 2011 release. Hit the jump for more.

we_bought_a_zoo_book_coverHere’s the synopsis for We Bought a Zoo:

Zoo tells the true account of how Mee and his family used their life savings to buy a dilapidated zoo, replete with 200 exotic animals facing destruction, in the English countryside.  Mee, along with his children, had to balance caring for his wife, who was dying of brain cancer, with dealing with escaped tigers, raising endangered animals, working with an eclectic skeleton crew and readying the zoo for a reopening.

I’m a huge Cameron Crowe fan, having been converted with his brilliant drugs, sex and rock n’ roll epic Almost Famous (the best film of that year if you ask me), after which I feasted on everything he had ever done, including the terrific Say Anything…, and relished everything he would do (Vanilla Sky notwithstanding).

While I haven’t read We Bought a Zoo, the basic outline for the book sounds like a story that will mesh well with Crowe’s sensibilities. I like the casting of Damon as well — he should fit nicely within Crowe’s universe of pop songs, zingy dialogue and familial situations.

As for the female lead, I’m partial to Amy Adams myself. The girl can play anything: cute, sexy, funny, dramatic, innocent, naïve. She looks terrific in David O. Russell’s upcoming The Fighter (if you don’t believe me, check out the trailer here); I have no doubt that pairing her up with Crowe (and Damon) would make for a fantastic film.

Damon will next be seen in the Coen brothers’ retelling of True Grit due this December.

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