Al Pacino to Play Phil Spector in Biopic

Oscar-winning actor and writer/director David Mamet to bring Spector's life to HBO

October 12, 2010 11:00 AM ET

Al Pacino has been cast in the role of legendary producer and convicted murderer Phil Spector for an upcoming HBO Films biopic. David Mamet, who previously worked with Pacino on Glengarry Glen Ross, will write and direct the still-untitled movie, which is still in the early developmental stages, The New York Times reports. Oscar-winning director Barry Levinson will be executive producer. Earlier this year, Pacino won an Outstanding Lead Actor Emmy for his portrayal of Dr. Jack Kevorkian in another HBO movie, You Don't Know Jack.

New Documentary Explores Phil Spector's Dark Mind

Spector is widely regarded as one of the greatest music producers of all time, having created the layered Wall of Sound technique and produced dozens of Sixties classics, ranging from the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" to the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." Spector also produced the Beatles' Let It Be, John Lennon's Plastic Ono Band and George Harrison's All Things Must Pass before effectively retiring in 1981. Spector's achievements are only outweighed by tales of his infamous ego — he notoriously gave himself credit for songs he didn't write — and his history of gunplay. In 2003, Spector was arrested for shooting and killing an actress named Lara Clarkson in his Los Angeles home. The first trial resulted in a hung trail, but he was later found guilty, and in 2009, sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Phil Spector on Trial: Photos from the Crime Scene to the Court House

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Song Stories

“Baby I Need Your Loving”

The Four Tops | 1964

The Four Tops formed 11 years before the release of this ballad, their first hit on Motown. The group had just wrapped up a gig at a Detroit nightclub when Brian Holland, who wrote the song with partners Lamont Dozier and Eddie Holland, invited them to Motown's studio to record into the wee hours of the night. In 2004, Holland explained how the words came to him one morning: "I was feeling very close to my wife, and thought of singing 'Baby I need your loving.' The phrase just entered my head. I felt she didn't really understand me, so I could explain how I felt through this song."

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