According to Deadline Scarlett Johansson has beaten the likes of Amy Adams, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Rachel McAdams for a role in We Bought a Zoo, which will be directed by Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Vanilla Sky). Matt Damon joined the film earlier this year, which is an adaptation of Benjamin Mee’s memoir about an American who moves to England to run a zoo.
Johansson will play Damon’s wife, Katherine, who according to THR will be seen in flashbacks. I think Amy Adams or Rachel McAdams would have been more age appropriate for the role, but I doubt Damon (40) will have a problem starring opposite Johansson (26).
Here’s the synopsis for the book:
Between his wife Katherine’s diagnosis of glioblastoma and her quiet death less than three years later, Benjamin Mee, his siblings and his mother bought a bedraggled zoo, complete with decaying buildings, a ragtag group of animals, an eclectic staff and a reputation that had been quickly going to the wolves. Mee writes about caring for his dying wife and their two young children, dealing with Code Red emergencies (when a dangerous animal escapes its confines), hiring staff, learning about his new two- and four-footed charges and setting his sights on refurbishing his zoo into a sanctuary for breeding and raising endangered animals.
20th Century Fox are aiming to get the film ready for a December 2011 release, which suggests it could be Oscar bait. I would have preferred to have seen Damon in Bourne 4, but I guess chasing after an escaped jaguar will get the actors adrenaline going.