Russell Crowe and Ron Howard are finally ready to get back in the ring together. After years in limbo, the boxing biopic ''Cinderella Man'' finally has a start date, Variety reports. Crowe, who's been making headlines over the last year for his off-screen fisticuffs, will play Depression-era fighter Jim Braddock in the film, which will start shooting in mid-November. ''Beautiful Mind'' Oscar winners Howard and Akiva Goldsman are on board to direct and to rewrite the screenplay, respectively.
The Universal-Miramax co-production has gone through several directors (Penny Marshall, Billy Bob Thornton, Lasse Hallström) and at least one leading man (Ben Affleck) before the current team signed on. Crowe has been attached to the film for a year and a half, though he has only now been able to work it into his busy schedule. It was delayed while he shot ''Master and Commander'' last year (that seafaring adventure is due on screen this summer), and now, he has a window before he shoots the historical epic ''Tripoli'' in early 2004 with his ''Gladiator'' director, Ridley Scott. The similarly busy Howard is preparing for a springtime shoot of the Western ''The Missing,'' with Tommy Lee Jones and Cate Blanchett, before slipping into ''Cinderella.''