Renee Zellweger: Fernando Salas/ZUMA Press/NewsCom
Brian Hiatt
July 09, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The box office failure of Renée Zellweger’s last movie, ”Down With Love,” sure isn’t slowing down her career. The actress has agreed to costar with Russell Crowe in ‘”The Cinderella Man,” the Depression-era story of an underdog boxer (no, she’s not the boxer — she’s his wife), according to Variety. Zellweger signed on to the project as part of a $21 million package deal that also encompasses the sequel to ”Bridget Jones’s Diary,” the trade paper reports.

The Ron Howard-directed ”Cinderella Man” was rewritten by Akiva Goldsman, and will be produced by Brian Grazer — the team behind ”A Beautiful Mind” (which, of course, also starred Crowe). Zellweger, meanwhile, is also set to play the unlikely role of Janis Joplin in an upcoming biopic, and stars alongside Nicole Kidman in the Civil War drama ”Cold Mountain,” which hits theaters in December.

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