CATEGORIES Comedy, Drama, Romance, Casting, 20th Century Fox, Family Films, Newsstand, Movie News, CinematicalI've been enamored with We Bought A Zoo since Fox optioned it last year, but figured it would be relegated to a journeyman director who would turn out treacle. Cameron Crowe's attachment gives me hope -- it's not that he doesn't dabble in the sentimental, but at least he's got a little more edge and experiment to him. Now there's a casting addition that might give it even more weight, as The Hollywood Reporter says that Matt Damon is in talks to take the lead in Zoo.
As we've reported a few times over now, Zoo is the true story of Benjamin Mee and his family, who used their life savings to rescue a broken down zoo and its languishing animals. (All 200 of its remaining inhabitants would have been put down. Mee's a hero in my book.) As the family worked to bring the zoo back to life -- a saga filled 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. Saving the zoo helped save the Mee family, and the zoo now thrives and is dedicated to Katherine.
Sure, it may be cookie-cutter but sometimes that's ok. Damon has proved himself equally adept in comedy and drama, and I think it would be fun to see play nice dad, zookeeper, and bereaved husband. His schedule has been rather heavy of late (The Adjustment Bureau, Hereafter, True Grit, Margaret) so it would be nice to see him in something relatively light where there's chances of tears and monkey poop.