Five years after his generally-panned dramedy "Elizabethtown" starring Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst, director Cameron Crowe is currently gearing up for his next directorial effort with an adaptation of Benjamin Mee's autobiographical novel "We Bought A Zoo," which currently has Matt Damon in the lead role. Thomas Haden Church was recently added to the cast as Mee's brother with newcomer Colin Ford scoring the role of Mee's son while Amy Adams was noted to be weighing up the female lead role.
However, Deadline now reports that four actresses are actually in the race for that particular role with Scarlett Johansson the apparent leader, Adams still in contention, but now joined by two other possibles, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rachel McAdams. The sought after role was previously reported to be not that of Mee's wife but rather a zookeeper on the family estate, who presumably doubles as a romantic interest for our protagonist.
"We Bought A Zoo" follows the true story of writer Benjamin Mee who uprooted his wife, two kids, mother and brother into the countryside on a property complete with a dwindling zoo, home to over 200 exotic animals. Once there however, the wife/mother tragically passes away due to cancer, but inspires the family to rebuild the zoo. Their relationship to the animals grows, ultimately healing the family's wounds and allowing them to move forward. Definitely sounds like a heartwarming tale, and with a December 23, 2011 release already locked, we're sure Fox are hoping for an award-season caliber work too.
Crowe adapted the novel with the very hot scribe Aline Brosh McKenna who has written "The Devil Wears Prada," the upcoming McAdams-starrer "Morning Glory," and is currently hard at work writing a two decade-spanning romantic dramedy for J.J. Abrams in addition to being hired by Disney to write a live-action 'Cinderella' film for a seven figure sum earlier this year.
Production on 'Zoo' is set to begin likely next March.