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) as 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 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. Higgins will play a zoo inspector, “cursed with an active and loud stomach,” who has it in for Damon. Another funnyman, J.B. Smoove, rounds out the cast.
Production on this one will move very, very fast as it already has a prime December 23, 2011 release date set for the film. And yes, it should boast Crowe’s usually carefully curated soundtrack with Matt Damon recently revealing that Neil Young and Eddie Vedder featured strongly in the script and notes he was given for the film. We’re definitely looking for Crowe to come back strong after “Elizabethtown” and with this cast behind him and some strong source material, expectations are high. [THR]