Cameron Crowe has been gone for a while, with his last effort being 2005’s Elizabethtown. Luckily for fans of his, he seems intent on making up for lost time over the next several months. That’s because we’ll soon be getting three new projects from him, with the narrative We Bought a Zoo and music documentaries The Union and Pearl Jam Twenty all on the way. The former of those docs focuses on Elton John, while the latter documents (surprise!) Pearl Jam.

New set photos for Zoo have shown up at Crowe‘s WhoSay (via ThePlaylist and ONTD). They’re what you expect from these kinds of pictures: People hanging out/working on the set, with some shots of monitors for filming and editing thrown in for good measure.

The movie is based on the memoirs by Benjamin Mee, and is scripted by The Devil Wears Prada writer Aline Brosh McKenna. It stars Matt Damon as a man who moves his family into a zoo following the death of his wife, and shows his budding relationship with Kelly (Scarlett Johansson), who works at the zoo. It also stars Thomas Haden Church and Elle Fanning, with a release planned for December 23rd.

They give brief looks at stars Damon, Johansson, John Michael Higgins and Patrick Fugit, with others appearing in different photos. You can see a few of them below, with the rest at the above links:

As for those music documentaries — both have been announced to have television premieres, with Pearl Jam Twenty arriving at PBS on October 21st, and The Union airing on HBO in January 2012.

Pearl Jam tells the story of the successful and influential Seattle band. Made with the permission of the group, it’s said to give an inside look at them and their history, something that many people are likely to have an interest in. The press release describes it as focusing on “the years leading up to the band’s formation, the chaos that ensued soon-after being catapulted into superstardom, their step back from the spotlight with the instinct of self-preservation, and the creation of a trusted circle that would surround them.” The movie will have a limited theatrical release in September, and PBS is airing it as part of their American Masters series. You can read the press release below: [JoBlo]

“In celebration of their 20 year anniversary, Pearl Jam is set to release the feature film Pearl Jam Twenty, a definitive portrait of the band as told by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker and music journalist, Cameron Crowe. The captivating documentary gives fans and audiences an intimate first glimpse into Pearl Jam’s journey culled from more than 1,200 hours of rarely and never-before-seen footage, over 24 hours of recent interviews with the band, as well as live footage of their spellbinding concert performances.

Pearl Jam Twenty will enjoy a unique, simultaneous worldwide theatrical release in select cities and venues in September and thereafter will roll out in an accelerated fashion. Abramorama, headed by Richard Abramowitz, who steered the theatrical campaigns for Anvil! The Story of Anvil and the Oscar®-nominated Exit Through The Gift Shop, is releasing the independent film in the U.S. with Arts Alliance Media, best known for their deft handling of Iron Maiden’s award-winning documentary Flight 666 and, more recently, Foo Fighters Back and Forth, handling the theatrical release overseas. The film’s U.S. television premiere will be Friday, October 21st at 9 p.m. (ET/PT), as part of the prestigious PBS “American Masters” series, airing during the first-ever PBS Arts Fall Festival. The soundtrack and DVD of the film will be released worldwide by Columbia Records/Sony Music Entertainment, with the soundtrack released simultaneous to the film in September and the DVD following with a release in October.

Told in big themes and bold colors with blistering sound, Pearl Jam Twenty chronicles the years leading up to the band’s formation, the chaos that ensued soon-after being catapulted into superstardom, their step back from the spotlight with the instinct of self-preservation, and the creation of a trusted circle that would surround them—giving way to a work culture that would sustain them. The film celebrates the freedom that allows the band to make music without losing themselves, their fans, or the music lovers they’d always been.

“When I set out to make this film, my mission was to assemble the best-of-the best from Pearl Jam’s past and present  and give audiences a visceral feeling of what it is to love music and to feel it deeply—to be inside the journey of a band that has carved their own path,” said Cameron Crowe. “There is only one band of their generation for which a film like this could even be made, and I’m honored to be the one given the opportunity to make it.”

Crowe was among the band’s inner circle when they formed and has maintained a close friendship with the band since his days as a reporter for Rolling Stone in Seattle. Almost 20 years after the band’s inception, Eddie, Jeff, Stone and Mike gave their longtime friend the okay to raid the vault and assemble from it the story no one but those closest to them ever knew.

As part of their year-long celebration, Pearl Jam is also releasing a Pearl Jam Twenty soundtrack and book of the same name, to accompany the film. The soundtrack is comprised of a selected track listing by Cameron Crowe—making the album a true companion piece to the film. Published by Simon & Schuster in the U.S. and

Atlantic Books in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, the Pearl Jam Twenty book is an aesthetically stunning chronicle of the band’s past two decades. Compiled and written by veteran music writer

Jonathan Cohen with Mark Wilkerson, the book includes a foreword by Cameron Crowe (and material from all his own band interviews) as well as original interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, and Dave Grohl. In addition, the band recently announced tour dates in Canada in September as well as two shows in the U.S over Labor Day weekend at Alpine Valley outside of Chicago.

After two-decades, Pearl Jam remains a giant musical force and one of the biggest and most magnetic touring acts in the world. With over 60 million albums sold worldwide, they continue to create and perform great music—all on their own terms. Pearl Jam is currently in the studio recording their 10th studio album,  marking the bands’ second record released through their label, Monkeywrench Records.”

Meanwhile, The Union tells of the creation of John‘s recent album of the same name, which served as a collaboration between himself and Leon Russell. What makes this interesting is the fact that it’s about the making of this album, and documentaries focusing on this process aren’t all that common. Not only that, but John is said to have never been filmed “in his composing process.” There’s a lot of material to work with when dealing with a topic like that, so I hope that Crowe has managed to take full advantage of his subjects and their project. You can read the press release below: [TheUncool]

“HBO Documentary films has acquired the domestic TV rights to THE UNION from Vinyl Films, it was announced today.  Directed by Cameron Crowe (“Almost Famous,” “Jerry Maguire”), the film will debut on HBO in Jan. 2012.

THE UNION takes an unprecedented look at the creative life of Elton John and his remarkable collaborative album with his early-career idol, Leon Russell, produced by award-winning music producer T Bone Burnett.  Never before filmed in his composing process, John is captured by Crowe in this candid portrait of one of the world’s most treasured artists and performers.  Begun in Nov. 2009, THE UNION chronicles the entire writing and recording process of the heralded album John recorded with Russell.

“I’m a great fan of HBO and their extraordinary programming, so I’m particularly thrilled that they will be airing THE UNION,” commented Elton John.

The film had its world premiere as the opening night selection at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival.  Creative Artists Agency (CAA) represents Crowe and Burnett and negotiated the deal with HBO on behalf of the filmmakers.

THE UNION is directed by Cameron Crowe; produced by Cameron Crowe and Michelle Panek; executive producer, Johnny Barbis; editor, Kevin Long.”

Are you excited for any of these films? Which one has your interest the most, and are you a fan of Crowe?

No more articles