James Gandolfini is in final negotiations to join the cast of Steve Zaillian’s “A Civil Action,” for Touchstone Pictures.
The pic — which Zaillian adapted from Jonathan Harr’s bestselling nonfiction book — tells the story a lawyer, played by John Travolta, who risks his career to represent a handful of families in a suburban Massachusetts community who have lost their children to leukemia, seemingly through the result of toxic dumping by two large companies.
Gandolfini would play a father and key witness in the case who is conflicted by his desire to do the right thing, and his reluctance to cause trouble.
“Civil Action” is set to begin lensing in October for producers Robert Redford and Scott Rudin. Touchstone VP of production Jordi Ros will oversee the pic for the studio.
Gandolfini recently wrapped “The Mighty” for Miramax, and soon will begin production on HBO’s cable pilot “Sopranos.” The thesp also appears in Nick Cassavetes’ “She’s So Lovely,” Showtime’s “12 Angry Men” and Gregory Hoblitt’s “Fallen.”
The deal for “A Civil Action” was brokered by Todd Eisner and David Brownstein of Writers & Artists, and by his managers Nancy Sanders and Mark Armstrong of Sanders Management.