Ashley's Purr-fect Role

04/17/1998 at 12:00 AM EDT

Ashley Judd, whose new romantic comedy "Someone Like You" opened this weekend to presentable but in no way remarkable business (it took in an estimated $10.3 million), has agreed to play the lead in "Catwoman," a spin-off of the successful "Batman" movie franchise, reports Variety. The trade paper says that the actress, 32, signed on to the role last week after meeting with studio executives. (Warner Bros., like PEOPLE, is part of AOL Time Warner.) Before she slips into the crime-fighting catsuit, Judd is set to costar with Sandra Bullock and Ellen Burstyn in the film "The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." As PEOPLE has reported, Ashley grew up dirt-poor in various Kentucky homes that lacked electricity, running water or a phone. While her mother, Naomi Judd, and her sister, Wynonna, tried to make it in the music business, Ashley was shuttled around to 12 different schools and was paid $10 a day to clean her family's tour bus. In 1999, Ashley's movie, "Double Jeopardy," established her as a box-office name.

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