Phil Spector produced some of the most beautiful music you’ve ever heard. Spector is also a crazy man who was convicted of second-degree murder in 2003. Since insane geniuses captivate us so, HBO understands that we need a Phil Spector biopic, and they went all out for Phil Spector. Al Pacino plays Spector. Helen Mirren and Jeffrey Tambor co-star. David Mamet wrote and directed the thing, for goodness’ sake.
HBO released the first full trailer, and I’m not sure what to make of it. Part courtroom drama, part fever dream, the clip doesn’t connect so much as it disrupts. But we can count on three things: 1) Awesome soundtrack, 2) Terrific wigs, and 3) Lines like, “The first time you got felt up, guess what: You were listening to one of my songs.” With Pacino shouting Mamet dialogue, that may be enough for a fun viewing experience when Phil Spector premieres on March 24, regardless of quality. Watch the trailer after the jump.
Two more have joined the cast of HBO’s biopic of legendary record producer-turned-lady-murderer Phil Spector. Bette Midler and Jeffrey Tambor have joined the cast of the film, written and directed by David Mamet. Al Pacino was previously cast as Spector himself in the flick that will focus on Spector’s later years, specifically the 2003 trial where he was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting a struggling actress in his mansion.
The Wrap reports that Midler will play Linda Kenney Baden, one of Spector’s defense attorneys in the trial. Tambor is set to take on the role of defense attorney Bruce Cutler. Last year, Pacino won the Emmy for portraying Jack Kevorkian in the HBO drama You Don’t Know Jack, directed by Barry Levinson. Levinson is on board as an executive producer of this Spector project.
After winning the Emmy for the Jack Kevorkian biopic You Don’t Know Jack, Al Pacino will return to HBO for another TV movie, this time as legendary record producer Phil Spector. This is great news. Pacino has aged into the type of crazy necessary to play the legitimately insane Spector. Even better: David Mamet will write and direct, nearly twenty years after he scripted the Al Pacino-led Glengarry Glen Ross. With Mamet writing the dialogue of a madman and an elderly Pacino performing it, this flick will be riddled with idiosyncrasy. I can’t wait.
Hit the jump for more info on Spector — both his crazy and his genius.
You may not know this but writer-director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) really likes music. His last film, the 2005 fiasco Elizabethtown, was basically a two-hour mixtape. But for the past 3 ½ years, Crowe has been working on a biopic of Motown singer-songwriter Marvin Gaye. In a lengthy article about music biopics, Variety reports that despite Crowe securing extensive music rights and the full cooperation of Motown founder Berry Gordy Jr., the project can’t move forward until Crowe and Sony Pictures can agree on a budget and a star. Crowe says his biopic will be music-centric (as opposed, presumably, to personal drama about Gaye’s life) and will turn his focus to the Gaye’s continuing influence.
In a fun bit of trivia, Crowe previously attempted a biopic of “Wall of Sound” music producer Phil Spector following Crowe’s 1996 movie Jerry Maguire. Crowe wanted Tom Cruise to star as Spector, but eventually decided that at the time “the third act [of Spector's life] had not been written.” In 2009, Spector was convicted of 2nd degree murder and sentenced to 19 years to life. Since Spector is 70-years-old, I think that about wraps up the third act.