Bette Midler has been replaced by British actress Helen Mirren on HBO's upcoming Phil Spector biopic, according to The Wrap. Midler was forced to pull out of the project last week after suffering a herniated disc.
Mirren will take-over the role of Linda Kenney Baden, one of Spector's defence attorneys during his high-profile trial for the murder of the aspiring actress Lana Clarkson. Al Pacino has already been cast as the record producer, while 'Arrested Developer' star Jeffrey Tambor will play attorney Bruce Cutler. The project hit another snag last week, after it emerged that friends of Clarkson had threatened to protest against the movie because of the way her murder is being portrayed. Writer and director David Memet reportedly told members of the press he doubted Spector's guilty and this is expected to be play out in the movie. The legendary producer was first charged with murder in 2007, but the trial ended with a hung jury. He was convicted in a re-trial in 2009 and is currently serving a sentence of 19 years to life.
Bette Midler hit the headlines last week after she doubted the originality of Lady GaGa's stage routine. She tweeted, "I'm not sure Lady Gaga knows that I've performed my mermaid in a wheelchair for millions of people - and many of them are still alive."