Cameron Crowe Clarifies “Kids-Casted” Project; Says It’s Actually A Preston Sturges-Influenced Comedy & He Wants To Work With Thomas Haden Church Again

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by Todd Gilchrist
December 9, 2011 5:35 PM
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After “Elizabethtown” received a lukewarm reception from critics and audiences when it was released in 2005, it took writer-director Cameron Crowe almost six years to put together another project. But Crowe had less trouble conceiving a follow-up to his forthcoming film, “We Bought a Zoo,” even if reports thus far about it have been less than accurate. “I read [stories about the film] and thought, ‘that’s good misinformation,’ ” Crowe said Friday in an interview with The Playlist. “But it is misinformation.”

In an interview with IFC earlier this year, Crowe revealed an idea for a film that he said was inspired by the people who auditioned for “We Bought a Zoo,” including many of the kids that went up for roles. "The kids [my casting director] found for 'We Bought a Zoo' are so exciting,” he said on August 31. “We met with all these actors, and they would leave the room and it was a situation where I would turn to her and say 'They're not right for this one, but I want to write something where we can work with that person.’ ” Speaking today at the New York junket for 'Zoo,' he clarified that he meant all of the people who auditioned for roles in the film.

“It’s not all kids,” he explained. “For some reason, it came across as that. But it’s for actors of all ages and stuff that we met when we were casting for this movie. I loved the ensemble so much, like I’d love to work with Thomas Haden Church again – I think he makes everything real. So there are lost of characters involved of all ages that I’m writing specifically for this one. It’s not just a bunch of kids because, like, I want to do a kid movie.”

Crowe declined to offer more specifics about the upcoming project, but said that the piece was heavily influenced by the films of Preston Sturges. When asked about the story, Crowe said, “I will surprise you with it, but it’s a comedy. I was kind of loving Preston Sturges, [and] I like the cavalcade of characters and the rhythm of those Sturges movies and the women of those Sturges movies. And also that they’re playing in a lot of wide shots, and you see the movement and the physicality of the characters, so it came from that.”

“And [there will be] more to come,” he teased about the story that he's keeping under wraps for now (sounds like it's the same one he discussed here). “We Bought a Zoo” is being released in theaters nationwide on December 23, but if you missed those early previews on Thanksgiving, you can catch it this weekend as 20th Century Fox has just scheduled a few more.

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