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.
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.