A number of new stills from "We Bought a Zoo" have been unveiled. Coming out via USA Today, two of them offer a closer look at Matt Damon as Benjamin Mee. One sees him facing off elderly tiger Spar, while another one has him holding a poster of the zoo's grand reopening that features his son's drawing.
Another photo gives a first look at Scarlett Johansson as Kelly Foster, who grew up with the zoo and stayed on as a caretaker. Joining her in the image is Maggie Elizabeth Jones playing a motherless girl named Rosie who, according to director Cameron Crowe, brings out the maternal side in Kelly.
USA Today also let out a composite group photo along with the stills. Putting together Damon, Johansson and Jones with other cast members, it displays Thomas Haden Church as Benjamin's accountant brother, Duncan; Colin Ford as Benjamin's son, Dylan; Angus MacFadyen as Peter MacCready; Elle Fanning as Kelly's niece, Lily; and Patrick Fugit as handyman Robin with monkey Crystal.
Based on a memoir by Benjamin Mee, this movie follows a journalist who decided to move his family to an abandoned zoo, Rosemoor Wildlife Park, after his wife dies from brain cancer. He lives his days dealing with escaped tigers, raising endangered animals, working with an eclectic skeleton crew and readying the zoo for a reopening.
On why he took the project, director Crowe told USA Today, "I wanted to do things that were less achingly personal, more 'Let's just enjoy the craft of doing it and creating it and get actors who just, like, rip it and love going there with you.' " He added, "Let joy flood into the experience rather than, 'Let's go look at more funeral parlors.' "
Meanwhile, Damon talked about his character. "It's kind of an act of desperation for Benjamin," he said of his character's motivation for moving his family to the zoo. "He does it impulsively, but at the same time, his late wife would have celebrated this kind of adventure. It's really a love story about a guy who is still in love with his wife."
"We Bought a Zoo" is due to hit U.S. theaters on December 23.