Jeez, Elizabethtown wasn’t that bad. But it’s been since Elizabethtown that we’ve seen a Cameron Crowe movie, and there’s something about this five year absence that makes me think the mighty writer/director is licking his wounds.

He could be ready for a comeback. Vulture is reporting that Crowe is circling We Bought A Zoo, which sounds like it’s right up Crowe’s just-this-side-of-schmaltzy style: a British writer who has a DIY fixer upper column in a newspaper gets a rundown 12 bedroom mansion… that happens to come with a 30 acre preserve complete with 200 wild animals. And as the columnist is trying to fix up the preserve and the house his wife, given a terminal cancer diagnosis, slowly falls apart. Oh the possibility for pop music montages seem endless.

Something about this project makes me nervous. Oh, I think I see it – the possibility for bald faced sentimentality. Crowe usually errs on the side of sentiment, but rarely fatally. This story seems like it’s some Sandra Bullock bullshit. Vulture hears the script, by Devil Wears Prada screenwriter Aline Brosh McKenna, is very good, and that Crowe is going to take a pass at it to make it more his own. Still, there’s such a level of heavy handedness to the basic plot that I wonder if Crowe isn’t losing his connection to the Billy Wilder side of filmmaking. Please Cameron, don’t give in to the completely sentimental side!