×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Phil Spector’: Emmy Nominee Mamet Now Convinced of Music Legend’s Innocence

Answer to script's riddle shocked even Its scribe

David Mamet, nominated for both writing and directing “Phil Spector” for HBO, initially resisted examining the wacky recording magnate to be played by Al Pacino.

“I went kicking and screaming, the guy’s a thug, he’s a lowlife, da da da.” His change of mind about the man’s fascination parallels that of consulting attorney Linda Kenney Baden (Helen Mirren), whose reflex certainty of her man’s guilt slowly gives way to passionate belief in his innocence.

Sophisticated themes of rooted-out prejudice and ideology raise the pic out of the realm of the courtroom procedural, though Mamet insists his topic was never the trial: “The movie is about what might have happened backstage.”

Mamet and Baden shared a commitment not to vilify victim Lana Clarkson, which in turn helped him unlock his story’s central riddle. “She clearly didn’t kill herself, and (Baden) can’t say he killed her because she’s his attorney. So what if it was an accident?” Fun was had with the lawyer’s real-life obstacle, a ravaging case of pneumonia. What do you do, the film asks, when everything’s on the line and you feel like hell?

Mamet professes enjoying it all, intimate two-handed confrontations and big crowd scenes. “You take the crock of shit the writer has handed you,” he notes wryly, “and try to make the best movie you can.”

More TV

  • Osmosis

    Netflix Unveils Four More French Originals, 'Gims,' 'Anelka,' 'Move,' 'Of Earth And Blood'

    As it prepares to open a fully-staffed office in France and ramp up its investment in local originals, Netflix has unveiled three new documentaries, “Move” (working title), “Gims” (working title), and “Anelka” (working title), and the feature film “Of Earth And Blood” while at Series Mania in Lille. Announced during a panel with Netflix’s commissioning [...]

  • Charmed -- "Let This Mother Out"

    'Charmed' Showrunner Exits, Craig Shapiro & Elizabeth Kruger Board Series

    The CW’s reboot of “Charmed” is changing showrunners. Variety has learned that Carter Covington has stepped down as showrunner on the series, which has already been renewed for a second season. Husband and wife team Craig Shapiro and Elizabeth Kruger have been brought on to helm the series going forward. Shapiro and Kruger are currently [...]

  • Apple TV Plus Reese Witherspoon Jennifer

    What We Know About 'Amazing Stories' And Other Shows Coming to Apple TV+

    Viewers got a sneak peek of upcoming shows coming to Apple TV+, Apple’s newly unveiled streaming service, during the company’s live-streamed event in Cupertino, Calif., on Monday. The stars and creators of the most highly anticipated projects like Steven Spielberg’s “Amazing Stories” and “The Morning Show” from Reese Witherspoon appeared on stage to reveal more [...]

  • WARNING: Embargoed for publication until 00:00:01

    Richard Gere Series 'MotherFatherSon' Sold to Multiple Territories

    BBC Studios, the British public broadcaster’s commercial arm, has announced a raft of territory sales for Richard Gere starrer “MotherFatherSon,” a drama series written by Tom Rob Smith, Emmy-nominated for “The Assassination of Gianni Versace.” The show will screen Tuesday at Series Mania, France, in the International Panorama section. Buyers for the eight-part thriller include [...]

  • TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases Trailer

    TV News Roundup: Netflix Releases Trailer for 'Special'

    In today’s roundup, Netflix releases a trailer for “Special,” and Wrestlemania’s main event will be a women’s match, a first in WWE history. FIRST LOOKS Netflix has released the trailer for its upcoming 15-minute comedy show “Special.” Ryan O’Connell stars in the semi-autobiographical series about life as a gay man with cerebral palsy. The series is [...]

  • Apple Event: Everything We Learned From

    Everything We Learned From Today's Apple Event

    After revealing new services in news, finance, and gaming, Apple CEO Tim Cook kept the biggest, most anticipated announcement until last. Cook, along with heads of worldwide video programming Zack Van Amburg and Jamie Erlicht, and a whole group of Apple’s creative talents, presented the company’s new Apple TV+ streaming service, which is slated to [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content