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First images from Cameron Crowe's WE BOUGHT A ZOO revealed

The first images from Cameron Crowe's We Bought A Zoo have arrived online thanks to USA Today. This will be his first film since Elizabethtown and it arrives in theaters on December 23rd. Zoo is based on the memoir by Benjamin Mee and stars Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson as "a couple who purchase a dilapidated zoo and try to restore it to its former glory." The supporting cast includes, Thomas Haden Church, Colin Ford, Angus MacFadyen and John Michael Higgins.

Here is an excerpt from the article in USA Today, where Damon talks a bit about why he chose the role and his character. Be sure to check out the whole story HERE.

"I've done a scene with a lion and an up-close scene with a tiger. And two days ago, I did one with a grizzly bear." That means, he says with a chuckle, "I've done lions and tigers and bears. Cameron and I have joked about how you are never supposed to work with children and animals, and how we decided to just get it all done with just this one film."

But Damon makes it clear that the creatures inside the cages didn't persuade him to doWe Bought a Zoo. It was the man behind the camera.

"That was everything," he says of his desire to work with Crowe, who gave John Cusackhis breakthrough role in 1989's Say Anything… and provided an Oscar-nominated career boost for Tom Cruise in 1996's Jerry Maguire.

Damon quickly fell under the same disarming spell as countless rock idols who gladly opened up to Crowe during his years as a precocious teen writer at Rolling Stone, an era lovingly chronicled in 2000's Almost Famous.

"He gave me a script and said, 'Don't read it to make a decision, because I haven't had a chance to do my stuff to it,'" Damon recalls. Instead, Crowe — who would embellish a screenplay by TheDevil Wears Prada writer Aline Brosh McKenna — assigned homework to put him in the right mood.

"He gave me the film Local Hero," the 1983 cult charmer about a wheeler-dealer American oil company rep who is transformed by his time spent in a small Scottish town. "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.'"

Check out the rest of the images below and share your thoughts:

This sounds like a cool film, and one that I am interested in seeing this holiday season. What are your thoughts?

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