Venora to light up new Mann cig pic

Actress joins Pacino, Crowe, Plummer

Diane Venora has joined Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer and Russell Crowe in Michael Mann’s untitled tobacco industry project for Touchstone Pictures.

Pic was developed from Marie Brenner’s Vanity Fair article “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” which detailed the true story of Jeffrey Wigand, the former tobacco exec turned whistleblower and his relationship with “60 Minutes” producer Lowell Bergman (played by Pacino).

Crowe will play Wigand, whose life was nearly destroyed by a vicious smear campaign and litigation put into play by the tobacco industry. Venora will portray Wigand’s wife, a woman of excellent but overly accessorized taste, who watches her marriage crumble.

Venora, who is shooting Clint Eastwood’s current Warner Bros.’ pic “True Crime,” previously teamed with Mann and Pacino on “Heat.” The stage, TV and screen vet also has appeared in such films as John McTiernan’s upcoming “Eaters of the Dead,” Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo and Juliet” and Clint Eastwood’s “Bird.”

Venora is repped by Innovative Artists and managers Sarah Jackson and William Blaylock of Seven Summits.