Cinderella Man: George Kraychyk
EW Staff
April 20, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

We’re dying to see ”Cinderella Man”


WHY WE CAN’T WAIT As Chris Rock said at the Oscars, no one does period roles better than Russell Crowe. And the last time he got together with director Ron Howard, screenwriter Akiva Goldsman, and producer Brian Grazer, the result was Oscar champ A Beautiful Mind.

THE PREMISE Crowe plays Jim Braddock, the boxing champ whose hard-luck story encapsulates his era, the Great Depression. (Think of the movie as Seabiscuit with a left hook.) Renée Zellweger is Braddock’s loyal wife, and Paul Giamatti (Sideways) is his trainer.

SOURCE The life of the real Jim Braddock

THE BACKSTORY The film’s long journey to the screen makes it almost as much of a scrappy underdog as Braddock himself. Since the movie was greenlit five years ago, it’s gone through at least three directors, three screenwriters, two leading men, and one production-delaying Crowe shoulder injury.

BURNING QUESTION Can Oscar lightning strike twice for this team — and for boxing dramas?

COME FOR Crowe unleashing hell in the ring

STAY FOR Crowe unleashing tears outside the ring. ”Bring a hankie,” says Grazer.

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