Cinderella Man: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paul Giamatti, who has earned critical accolades for his role as Harvey Pekar in the HBO Films/Fine Line Features comedy American Splendor, is in final negotiations to star opposite Russell Crowe, Renee Zellweger and Craig Bierko in Universal Pictures/Miramax Films' period boxing project Cinderella Man. Ron Howard is directing and producing along with Brian Grazer and Penny Marshall.
In a related story, it was announced Friday that production on the film has been pushed back one month to an April start after Crowe suffered an injury to his shoulder -- described as a dislocation with damage -- while training in a boxing ring in Sydney. According to Universal, Crowe will immediately undergo arthroscopic surgery followed by intense physiotherapy.
Cinderella Man tells the tale of real-life heavyweight boxing champ Jim Braddock (Crowe). During the 1930s, Braddock was an aging boxer who made a comeback while trying to provide for his family during the Depression. Giamatti would star as the trainer of Crowe's character. Bierko stars as heavyweight champ Max Baer, who faces Braddock in a 15-round slugfest.
For his part in the Akiva Goldsman-penned project, Giamatti will be advised by Angelo Dundee, a boxing great who trained 15 world champions, including Muhammad Ali.