Torn lights up for cig biz pic

Thesp joins Pacino, Crowe

Thesp Rip Torn has joined Al Pacino and Russell Crowe in the cast of Michael Mann’s Touchstone pic about tobacco industry whistleblower Jeffrey Wigand.

Still-untitled pic is presently lensing in New York for a planned 1999 release. Pieter Jan Brugge is producing the Wigand story along with helmer-writer Mann.

On the small screen, the versatile Torn, just coming off a much-praised six-year run on HBO’s “The Larry Sanders Show,” has inked a deal with cabler TNT to star alongside “Homicide’s” Andre Braugher in the telefilm “Passing Glory,” from “Hoop Dreams” helmer Steve James.

Set in the mid-1960s, “Passing Glory” is based on the true story of a young black priest in New Orleans who organizes a basketball game between the city’s top all-black and all-white teams in an effort to challenge racial conventions.

Vidpic was written by John Sayles and Harold Sylvester, an actor-writer who took part in the match-up that inspired the made-for. “Passing Glory” is being produced for TNT by Magic Johnson Entertainment, Quincy Jones/David Salzman Entertainment and David Rosemont Prods.

Torn is repped by his agent, Gary Gersh, and manager Alan Somers of Somers, Teitlebaum and David.

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