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Helen Mirren Replacing Bette Midler in HBO's Phil Spector Biopic

by Catherine Lawson, posted Jul 19th 2011 6:30AM
Helen MirrenHBO's untitled Phil Spector movie just got even starrier: An Oscar winner has taken over from an Oscar nominee (and winner of multiple Grammy Awards) in a pivotal role.

Last week production on the biopic was suspended after Bette Midler had to pull out on doctors' orders. Now it's been reported that her replacement is none other than 'The Queen' star, Helen Mirren.

Mirren will play Linda Kenney Baden, a defense attorney who represented disgraced music producer Phil Spector during his first trial for murdering Lana Clarkson.

The film was written by David Mamet ('Glengarry Glen Ross') and is being executive-produced by 'Rain Man' director Barry Levinson.

It explores the client-attorney relationship between Spector (played by Al Pacino) and Kenney Baden, and has already attracted controversy after Mamet publicly expressed doubts about Spector's guilt.

Production was halted after six days of filming when Midler bowed out, and is now expected to resume sometime next week.

Mirren is, of course, no stranger to heavyweight TV drama. Her role as Det. Jane Tennison in the '90s UK crime series 'Prime Suspect' revived her career and won her a slew of awards. She later went on to win an Emmy and a Golden Globe for her work in the HBO period piece, 'Elizabeth 1.'

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I think Helen Mirren is a wonderful joice as a replacement and know she will do an excellent job! I'm looking forward to seeing this HBO special.....

July 21 2011 at 9:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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