EXCLUSIVE: Scarlett Johansson is in final negotiations to star alongside Matt Damon in We Bought A Zoo, the Cameron Crowe-directed adaptation of the Benjamin Mee memoir for 20th Century Fox about an American who moves to England to operate a zoo. Deadline reported on Monday that Johansson had the inside track on the role, but she and the studio were apart on money. Fox was also talking to Amy Adams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rachel McAdams. Crowe and Aline Brosh McKenna wrote the script. Johansson has been on the short list for several plum parts recently. She is in contention to play Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, along with several other actresses. Lionsgate also wanted her for Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, but that now appears in doubt.
Baz Luhrmann isn’t the only director meeting with top young actresses for a project. Much the way that Luhrmann has a top group of thesps he’ll read with to find Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, Crowe has a short list to play the female lead opposite Matt Damon in We Bought A Zoo, the Benjamin Mee memoir about an American who moves to England to operate a zoo. I’m hearing that the top contender is Scarlett Johansson, but that Amy Adams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rachel McAdams are also in the mix. Crowe and Aline Brosh McKenna wrote the script.
Breaking News… Matt Damon is in early talks to star for director Cameron Crowe in 20th Century Fox’s We Bought a Zoo. Damon’s in talks to play a man who moves his family to England to operate a zoo. The script by Aline Brosh McKenna is based on the memoirs of Benjamin Mee and Fox is pulling together a production start to release the film in late 2011.