It’s perhaps not hugely surprising, considering we started as a blog focusing on the place where movies and music meet, but we have a real affection for much of Cameron Crowe‘s work. A former Rolling Stone journalist, and pop obsessive, few have ever used popular music quite as effectively, especially as the background of top-quality bittersweet comedies like “Say Anything,” “Singles,” “Jerry Maguire” and “Almost Famous.”
But the not-exactly-prolific helmer has had something of a rough decade; “Vanilla Sky” which was always something of a misfire, has aged very poorly, judging by a recent rewatch, while the name of his last effort, the one with Orlando Bloom and Kirsten Dunst, is now treated as a profanity in much of polite society. Five years on, having had the Ben Stiller/Reese Witherspoon comedy “Deep Tiki” collapse from under him, he’s finally ready to go before cameras on what’s hoped to be his comeback film, “We Bought A Zoo.”
The comedy-drama, based on the memoir by Benjamin Mee, with a script from “The Devil Wears Prada” writer Aline Brosh McKenna, follows Mee (Matt Damon) as a single father who attempts to fulfil his late wife’s wish of moving their family to the titular animal sanctuary. Damon’s joined by the likes of Scarlett Johansson, as love interest Kelly, Thomas Haden Church, as Damon’s brother, and Elle Fanning and Patrick Fugit as other zoo employees. According to Variety, they’ve now been joined by one more.
Scottish actor Angus MacFayden is in talks for the project, to play the role of the head zookeeper. MacFayden’s probably still best known for playing Robert the Bruce in Mel Gibson‘s “Braveheart,” as well as for taking one of the better cracks at Orson Welles, in Tim Robbins‘ “The Cradle Will Rock.” It’s been a lean few years for the actor, however, mostly made up of TV guest appearances and a recurring role in three of the “Saw” films, so this can only be good news for him.
We’re cautiously looking forward to this one — Damon’s a perfect fit for this role, and hopefully a few years in the wilderness means that Crowe’s return will be closer to “Jerry Maguire” than “Eli****tht**n.” There’s at least one more major role, the other female lead, that’s still to be announced, and we’re sure that’ll come any day now. “We Bought A Zoo” hits theaters on December 23rd, 2011.