We’ve already expressed our eagerness to check out Cameron Crowe‘s We Bought a Zoo, and it seems Fox is equally excited to show it to us. The studio has teamed up with social media service TOUT to offer sneak preview screenings of the drama on Saturday, November 26, four weeks before its official release date of December 23. And as if the mere fact of getting to see Crowe’s latest in advance weren’t motivation enough, attendees will also have the opportunity to enter a contest for a trip to San Diego by posting reviews of the film.

Based on a memoir by Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo stars Matt Damon as a single dad who moves his family to a dilapidated zoo. Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning, and Patrick Fugit also appear. More details after the jump.

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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 »

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.

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Cameron Crowe Might Direct We Bought A Zoo

Cameron Crowe might director We Bought a Zoo

Almost Famous is one of my favorite movies of all time, and Cameron Crowe used to be one of my favorite writer/directors. It is not that the filmmaker had a huge fall from grace — I actually liked Elizabethtown more than most, despite Orlando Bloom’s best efforts. It’s that the filmmkaer is starting to become a distant memory. Aside 2005’s Elizabethtown, which many would like to forget, and the filmmaker’s few second cameo as a bus passenger in Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, Crowe hasn’t been on the big screen since 2001’s Open Your Eyes remake Vanilla Sky. For those who don’t know, or maybe have forgotten, Crowe lived/wrote the book/screenplay for Fast Times at Ridgemont High, made his directorial debut with the 1980’s classic Say Anything…, Singles, and Jerry Maguire, which was nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture.

For the past few years, Crowe has been trying to get his tropical romantic comedy Deep Tiki into production, but scheduling conflicts with the signed stars Ben Stiller and Reese Witherspoon (read about the plot here) keep pushing and pushing it back. Frankly, it never sounded too exciting to me — kind of like a modern day Joe and the Volcano, which I didn’t like the first time around.

Vulture now has word that Crowe is interested in stepping back into the director’s chair for a big screen adaptation of Benjamin Mee‘s best-selling memoir We Bought a Zoo. Actually, the full title of the book is “We Bought a Zoo: The Amazing True Story of a Young Family, a Broken Down Zoo, and the 200 Wild Animals that Changed Their Lives Forever”. The 304-page book tells the remarkable true story of a family who move into a rundown zoo. Details after the jump.
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