While most of the recent chatter around Cameron Crowe has been about rock doc Pearl Jam Twenty, he does also still have a new film due out later this year in We Bought a Zoo. While we’ve yet to see a trailer, some new images from the Matt Damon-starring movie have emerged, which you can see below.
And Crowe has been opening up about the project to USA Today, talking about his reasons for picking this project over several others bubbling away, and focusing on the happier aspects despite it primarily being about a man who takes over a wildlife park with his family after their mother dies. “I wanted to do things that were less achingly personal, more 'Let's just enjoy the craft of doing it and creating it and get actors who just, like, rip it and love going there with you.' Let joy flood into the experience rather than, 'Let's go look at more funeral parlours.'"
And despite the presence of Matt Damon leading the cast, Crowe singles out one performer in particular for bringing the joy – Crystal, the monkey you might recognise from her recent stint in The Hangover 2… “We feel this is Crystal's breakthrough performance,” he laughs. "It is her Carnal Knowledge. The role brings out colours we have yet to see. It is more mature than her Todd Phillips work. She is not just the hottest actress around, but also the most compelling." Look out, Damon!
For his part, the actor simply seems delighted to be working with Crowe, who handed out musical and cinematic homework in his usual style before Damon signed on. “He gave me the film Local Hero. And he gave me about 15 songs, a lot of Neil Young and Eddie Vedder. I actually took the music, put it on my iPod and went for a run in Central Park. Then I read the script. I thought to myself, 'This is absolutely something I want to be in.'"
We Bought a Zoo arrives on December 23. If you need a quick shot of Matt Damon being awesome in the meantime, check this out.