With three new films arriving in 2011, "Almost Famous" director Cameron Crowe has his hands full this year.
While it has no U.S. distribution yet, “The Union,” the documentary look at the making of Elton John and Leon Russell‘s collaborative titular album, debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year. Coming in September is “Pearl Jam Twenty,” a 20-year Pearl Jam anniversary documentary, which starts running in key markets on September 23rd before hitting PBS on October 21. Then finally, “We Bought a Zoo,” starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Hayden Church comes to theaters nationwide on December 23.
Three years on one film threatens to be overkill unless you consider this: Crowe's been MIA in theaters since 2005's "Elizabethtown." And as much as a swing and miss that picture was, six years without a Cameron Crowe film is a long way to go. The wait after 2011 might not be as long. He already has a Marvin Gaye biopic called, "My Name Is Marvin" in progress, as well as a project called "Deep Tiki" potentially still kicking around if it hasn't been abandoned and, apparently, yet another that he's already started writing.
IFC recently sat down for a lengthy talk with the filmmaker and he said while 'Marvin' is still in the works, he's begun another screenplay which is inspired by all the children who auditioned for "We Bought a Zoo."
"This woman that I work with, Gail Levin ("Almost Famous," "Vanilla Sky"), is a great casting director. She's always finding new faces," he said. "The kids she found for 'We Bought a Zoo' are so exciting. We met with all these actors, and they would leave the room and it was a situation where I would turn to Gail and say 'They're not right for this one, but I want to write something where we can work with that person.' That was the genesis for writing a whole new script which I've been working on while we were doing 'We Bought a Zoo' and finishing this Pearl Jam movie."
Does the six years away from the screen mean Crowe is making up for lost time? "I'm trying out this prolific thing," Crowe joked. "The thing about being prolific? It's a lot of work."
One wishful thinking project you can likely wipe off his IMDB if you were careless enough to list it there is a sequel to his 1989 romantic comedy-drama classic, "Say Anything." While it's come up in recent months as something that he might consider, Crowe told IFC that the idea is "definitely a pipe dream."
"It's a personal thing for me, that movie," he said trying to clear up his comments from a few months earlier. "It's probably my favorite thing I've ever done. And the last thing I would ever dream of doing is touching something that I feel so proud about in any way. I just love the characters and I was sort of musing out loud with this really cool person that had asked the question."
Ok, case closed, but still, Crowe definitely has "Say Anything" on the brain of late. While the 20th-anniversary edition Blu-ray and DVD re-release of the film arrived in 2009, just yesterday on his blog, The Uncool, Crowe released six deleted scenes in script form. According to Crowe, more extended scenes from the final shooting script dated Jan. 18, 1988, might still be posted in the upcoming days.