Filming is due to start on the star-studded movie based on the mÃ©moire We bought a Zoo, written by Benjamin Mee of Dartmoor Zoological Park.
The cast will be on the Hollywood film set from the 17th of this month (January), with big names such as Scarlett Johansson, Matt Damon, Thomas Haden-Church and Colin Ford. Other well recognised names include Angus Macfayden, Patrick Fugit, Elle Fanning, John Michael Higgins and JB Smoove.
The movie is being directed by Oscar winner Cameron Crowe, most famous for his work on Jerry Maguire and Vanilla Sky, and is described as a drama/comedy -making the most of the comedic talents of both Smoove, who recently starred in Date Night, and Higgins, well known for his funny liners in Fun with Dick and Jane and The Break-Up.
The filming, which is taking place on a specially made set in Hollywood, is anticipated to last for 50 days and the film will be hitting cinemas on December 23, 2011.
It is hoped that Benjamin Mee, writer of the book on which the film is based, will visit the set during the filming. He has already received a personal letter from director Cameron Crowe expressing his enthusiasm for the story.
Matt Damon has been named as the star to play Benjamin, with his son played by Ford (Supernatural) and his brother by Haden Church (Sideways, Spiderman 3). Johansson is playing a keeper who will also become a love interest. Higgins is to be a zoo inspector and is anticipated to add a touch of humour to the role.
‘It is really exciting to think that they will start filming in just a matter of days. The cast and crew involved are tremendous and we really hope this puts both Plymouth and Dartmoor Zoological Park on the map,’ commented Benjamin Mee, director of Dartmoor Zoo.
‘I hope that I will make it to the set after the start of filming and, judging by the letter from Cameron Crowe, I am confident that this will be a truly fantastic film.’
Dartmoor Zoo was purchased by the Mee family in 2007, along with more than 200 animals. It has the largest collection of big cats in the South West and spans 33 acres. Based in Sparkwell, Plymouth, it is the city’s local zoo and boasts bears, wolves, tigers, lions, a jaguar, racoons, monkeys, meerkats and much more.
(from a press release)