It’s going to be a good year for J.B. Smoove. The comedian and Curb Your Entusiasm favorite has got a new season of Curb coming up, he’s in the Farrelly Borhters film Hall Pass, and has already shot a role in David Gordon Green’s The Sitter, where he and Sam Rockwell play drug dealers on the trail of Jonah Hill.

Now he’s got a part in Cameron Crowe‘s film We Bought a Zoo, and he’ll also star in a new sitcom being developed by Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum) and Aaron Shure (The Office). Read More »

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Leave it to Cameron Crowe to make the soundtrack for a movie before he’s shot a single frame. In a recent interview with MTV, Matt Damon said that when he got the script to Crowe’s new film, We Bought A Zoo, it came with a soundtrack that featured “a lot of Eddie Vedder” and “a lot of Neil Young.”

The film, scheduled for release almost one year from today, December 23, 2011, stars shooting next month. It’s based on a memoir by Benjamin Mee chronicling how he and his family decided to buy and run a dilapidated zoo after the death of his wife. Written and directed by Crowe, Damon stars as Mee alongside a love interest played by Scarlett Johansson, his brother played by Thomas Hayden Church, and zoo employees Elle Fanning, Patrick Fugit and Angus McFadyen. See Damon’s interview and more after the break. Read More »

Colin Firth is edging closer to genuine leading man status, thanks in part to big awards season recognition for films like A Single Man and The King’s Speech. It’s a transformation that will take another big step if he takes the lead role in Gambit, a heist thriller remake scripted by Joel and Ethan Coen. We’ve reported on the film in the past, most recently when The Last Station director Michael Hoffman came on to direct.

Now Deadline says Colin Firth is in talks for the lead role of a cat burglar who wants to rob a billionaire. He enlists the help of a waitress who is a dead ringer for the rich guy’s late wife. (Michael Caine and Shirley MacLaine played the roles in the ’66 original.) Sounds like a perfectly good choice for me. As anything that puts an actor who is very versatile with dialogue into a Coen-scripted project is to be applauded.

After the break, more casting for Cameron Crowe‘s We Bought A Zoo, and Safe House, which is already set to star Denzel Washington and Ryan Reynolds. Read More »

Cameron Crowe is set to reteam with Almost Famous star (and big screen alter ego) Patrick Fugit and talented up and comer Elle Fanning (Somewhere, Super 8, The Nines) in the a big screen adaptation of Benjamin Mee‘s bestselling memoir We Bought a Zoo.

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Scarlett Johansson Cast in ‘We Bought a Zoo’

The results are in for one more casting race — well, this one wasn’t a race, exactly. Earlier this week we reported that director Cameron Crowe was interested in Scarlett Johansson for the lead female role in We Bought a Zoo. Now she’s reportedly nearing a deal to make the picture, in which she’ll appear opposite Matt Damon. Read More »

Deadline has learned that Scarlett Johansson (Iron Man 2, Lost in Translation) is Cameron Crowe‘s (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire) top choice to play the female lead in his next movie, a big screen adaptation of Benjamin Mee‘s bestselling memoir We Bought a Zoo. Other actresses on Crowe’s shortlist include Amy Adams (Enchanted, Doubt) Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Live Free or Die Hard) and Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes, Wedding Crashers) are also in the mix.

All of the ladies on the list sound like interesting choices opposite Matt Damon, who is set to star as Benjamin Mee, a widowed father who buys a dilapidated zoo in the English countryside. Looking for a fresh new start, Mee and his children hope to refurbish the zoo and run it as a family business. Mary Elizabeth Winstead seems like the odd woman out, as she plays very young. McAdams and Adams are both in their 30′s, while Winstead is in her mid 20′s. Johansson is also in her mid twenties, but has been playing older.

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Thomas Haden Church (Spider-Man 3, Sideways) has joined the cast of director Cameron Crowe‘s (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire) adaptation of Benjamin Mee‘s bestselling memoir We Bought a Zoo.

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Matt Damon in Talks to Join Cameron Crowe’s Zoo

I had heard rumblings a few weeks ago, and now Variety confirms what I’ve heard — Matt Damon is in talks to star in director Cameron Crowe‘s (Almost Famous, Jerry Maguire) adaptation of Benjamin Mee‘s bestselling memoir We Bought a Zoo. Damon would play Benjamin Mee, a widowed father who buys a dilapidated zoo in the English countryside. Looking for a fresh new start, Mee and his children hope to refurbish the zoo and run it as a family business.

Read More »

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