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More Behind-The-Scenes Photos From Cameron Crowe’s ‘We Bought A Zoo’

More Behind-The-Scenes Photos From Cameron Crowe's 'We Bought A Zoo'

It’s been six years since Cameron Crowe‘s disappointing “Elizabethtown” but if 2011 goes as planned, it should mark one helluva comeback year for the director. With three movies slated to hit before the end of 2011, he’s never been busier. His Elton John/Leon Russell documentary “The Union” recently opened the Tribeca Film Festival, he’s got “Pearl Jam Twenty” coming in September and he’ll cap off the year with the sure to be Oscar contending “We Bought A Zoo.”

Based on the memoir by Benjamin Mee, with a script from “The Devil Wears Prada” writer Aline Brosh McKenna, the story follows Mee (Matt Damon), a single father who attempts to fulfill his late wife’s wish of moving their family to the titular animal sanctuary. Damon is joined by Scarlett Johansson as the love interest Kelly, Thomas Haden Church as his brother, Angus MacFadyen as the head zookeeper and Elle Fanning and Patrick Fugit as other zoo employees. John Michael Higgins will play a zoo inspector, “cursed with an active and loud stomach,” while J.B. Smoove, will round out the cast. While we’ll have to wait for official stills or trailers, this early peek behind the curtain will do for now as Crowe has been posting behind-the-scenes set pics from the film to his website over the past month or so and we’ve rounded them up here.

“We Bought A Zoo” opens on December 23rd. Check out more pics below. [Cameron Crowe via ONTD]

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I read the book and it was not that great. Certainly not as touching as it could have been, given the death of his wife. There was no “love interest” following her death either. Scarlett Johanson and Matt Damon is yuck- inducing. Couldn’t they find an actress in her mid-30s at least if they felt the need to make one up.


Scar Jo is striking in those shots.


At first I was worried about Crowe not writing this one, since he’s always been sort of a writer who directs instead of a director, but I think he’s actually come a long way as a visual filmmaker, and Elizabethtown found him indulging his worst tendencies as a writer…so maybe directing someone else’s script isn’t a bad thing (and naturally, I’m sure he did rewrites, or at least made notes about which Who deep cut would play in which scene).

Kevin Jagernauth

I haven’t read the script, but Damon + Crowe + December + ‘Devil Wears Prada’ Writer certainly makes it something that the Academy folks will keep an eye out. If Damon gets folks to break out their hankies, he could be in the running. The Oscars love a good cry.


Contender may be too strong, but it’s definitely a “hopeful.” Then again, I haven’t read the script, and KJ probably has.

Nik Grape

The premise sure sounds retarded. Not as much as the titular character’s name though. Mee? WTF.

None of this is interesting in the least bit and I also doubt it will be contending many awards.


Calling this thing “sure to be Oscar contending” seems WAY hopeful given the unknowable depths of awfulness Elizabethtown achieved, the long layoff, the fact that Crowe really probably never was all that great in the first place, and the only one of the two 2k11 docs he’s finished so far could only muster opening TriBeCa, not somewhere better.

I think this film is going to be garbage and I wouldn’t expect it to come even close to contending for Oscars.

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