Helen Mirren replacing Bette Midler in HBO biopic

Los Angeles: 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 plays 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.

Bureau Report

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