Actor eyes 20th Century Fox pic

Matt Damon is in preliminary talks to star in 20th Century Fox’s “We Bought a Zoo,” Cameron Crowe’s next directing project.

Studio finalized Crowe’s deal in May, dating the pic for Dec. 23, 2011.

Based on Benjamin Mee’s memoir, “Zoo” revolves around a widowed father who buys a dilapidated zoo in hopes of making a fresh start. He and his children, along with a small but loyal staff, work to get the zoo reopened. Julie Yorn is producing.

Crowe is polishing the “Zoo” script penned by Aline Brosh McKenna.

Damon is repped by WME.

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