Heavyweights enter ring for fight pic

Crowe eyed for lead in Hollingsworth-penned 'Cinderella'

Lasse Hallstrom will direct the boxing biopic “The Cinderella Man,” for Universal and Miramax.

Russell Crowe has been offered the lead role as real-life heavyweight boxing champ Jim Braddock.

Braddock captured the imagination of the public and became known as the Cinderella Man when he rose from obscurity to defeat heavyweight champ Max Baer in a grueling 15-round battle in 1935.

Universal has been developing the project for a number of years.

Script is written by Cliff Hollingsworth and Charlie Mitchell. Billy Bob Thornton was attached to direct at one point, and it was rumored that Ben Affleck would play Braddock.

“Cinderella” is certain to gain considerable momentum if Crowe comes onboard.

Crowe is coming off a lauded role for Universal as mathematician John Nash in “A Beautiful Mind,” an Imagine Entertainment co-production directed by Ron Howard.

Universal confirmed Lasse Halstrom will direct “Cinderella,” but said it was premature to confirm any of the cast. Miramax declined comment.

Hallstrom is repped by UTA. WMA, which reps Crowe, said he’s not committed to doing any new roles.

Crowe is currently planning to make his debut as a screenwriter, director and producer with the Intermedia-backed WWII pic “The Long Green Shore.”

Universal and Miramax have a 50/50 single-pot co-production deal on “Cinderella.” Universal holds domestic rights to the pic. Miramax will distribute internationally.

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