With critically celebrated comedy hits like Bridget Jones's Diary and Chicago and earnest Oscar-courting dramas like Cold Mountain and Cinderella Man, Renée Zellweger was everywhere in the early 2000s. Yet the last few years, the bubbly blonde leading lady has largely been absent from the spotlight, making her last movie appearance in 2010's My Own Love Song, a dramedy that went straight to DVD Stateside. But now Zellweger is taking her comeback into her own hands with 4 ½ Minutes.

Deadline reports Zellweger has not only committed to front the comedy that's set in the thick of New York City's stand-up comedy community, but also will make her directorial debut with the film. Jackass's Johnny Knoxville will play the movie's hero, a struggling comic who is forced to take a job as a nanny, looking after the genius son of Zelwegger's single-mom character. The released logline also mentions Knoxville's stand-up is a commitment-phobe, so expect romantic sparks to fly between the presumably harried single mom and her funny manny.

The premise is pulled from the stand-up act of comedian Dov Davidoff, but the 4 ½ Minutes' script itself was penned by Warrior scribe Anthony Tambakis, who has been collaborating with Zellweger on the potential TV drama Cinnamon Girl that Lifetime has given a pilot order.

While the comedian-centered comedy will be pitched to potential buyers throughout the Toronto International Film Festival, Zellweger is preparing for her Broadway debut in The Hustler, a stage play adapted from the 1961 Paul Newman feature about a high stakes pool match. 4 ½ Minutes is expected to shoot in New York City in February 2013.
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