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

“The Queen” star to portray record producer’s defense attorney

Last Updated: July 18, 2011 @ 4:35 PM

Helen Mirren is moving on from her "Arthur" co-star Russell Brand to work on a movie about another wild-maned man.

The "Elizabeth I" star has been tapped to replace Bette Midler in HBO's upcoming Phil Spector biopic, the actress' publicist confirmed to TheWrap.

Midler was forced to bow out last week, after suffering a herniated disc. Mirren will assume the role of Linda Kenney Baden, one of Spector's defense attorneys during his trial for the murder of actress/nightclub hostess Lana Clarkson.

Al Pacino will play the ill-fated record producer in the as-yet-untitled movie, which will co-star "Arrested Development" alum Jeffrey Tambor as defense attorney Bruce Cutler.

Aside from the injury-related recasting, the production ran into another potential hurdle last week, when friends of Clarkson's threatened to organize a protest over the project. They've expressed fears regarding how writer/director David Mamet — who told members of the press that he doubted Spector's guilt over the murder — would portray the circumstances of Clarkson's death.

News of the casting was first reported by Deadline.