CATEGORIES Comedy, Drama, Deals, Scripts, 20th Century Fox, Family Films, Newsstand, Movie News, CinematicalMemoirs and true life tales can be tricky things -- when you hear of one being developed, you immediately wince a little and picture a grueling Oscar bait picture with no relation to the facts. But sometimes your ears perk up, and you immediately click over to Amazon.com to check out the book ... which I actually did with this one.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fox has bought the rights to We Bought a Zoo, the story of Benjamin Mee and his family. The Mees used their life savings to purchase a broken down zoo and its 200 animals which were languishing away in the English countryside. It was Mee's dream to bring the zoo back to life, rescue its animals (which would have been put down), and run it as a family business. But as they're dealing with tiger escapes, tight funds, family tensions, and sick animals, tragedy struck the family. Benjamin's wife, Katherine, was struck by a brain tumor and died three months after the zoo's purchase. The zoo and its animals helped Mee and his children to cope, and the zoo now flourishes in her memory.
I'm a sucker for a really good animal story, especially one with a happy ending for the wild and woolly stars. The story has a lot of potential for a solid family film, but there's going to be a lot of temptation to relocate it from England to L.A., fill it with zany comedy, heavy sentiment. Hopefully Fox can keep a light hand and its British charm while trying to replicate their Marley and Me success.