Mike Fleming

Cameron Crowe has set Patrick Fugit and Elle Fanning is in talks to star alongside Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson in We Bought A Zoo. Thomas Hayden Church is also in the Fox film based on the Benjamin Mee memoir. Fugit, you’ll recall, played the young journalist who was essentially playing Crowe in Almost Famous, a memoirish film that chronicled the filmmaker’s experience when, as a teenaged journalist, he was hired by Rolling Stone magazine to go on the road with the Allman Brothers when the band was on the rise.

Nobody’s saying what role Fugit will be playing, but Elle Fanning will play the role of Lily, a 13-year old who works at the zoo’s restaurant. Too young to legally be working, she gets paid under the table and lives on the property. Her only parental figure is Kelly (Johansson), from whom Lily learns to be at ease with the animals. The young girl is immediately fascinated by the son of the zoo’s new owner (Damon), and she becomes very flirtatious. Colin Ford is circling the role of Dylan. Fanning has been on a roll, and working with strong filmmakers. She’s in JJ Abrams’ Super Eight, and next appears in Francis Ford Coppola’s thriller Twixt Now And Sunrise. Fugit’s repped by Gersh, Fanning by One Talent Management.