x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Bette Midler to return to screen in lawyer role

After a long career break, the actress/singer Bette Midler is set to return to the screen with Al Pacino in a film about the jailed music mogul Phil Spector.

Fans of Bette Midler feared she might never return to the small screen following the early termination of her ill-fated sitcom Bette in 2001, which ran for just 16 episodes.

So it's welcome news to them that the US actress and singer is to star opposite Al Pacino in HBO's forthcoming film about record producer Phil Spector.

Midler has been cast as Linda Kenney Baden, a defence lawyer who represented Spector during his first, abortive trial for the 2003 murder of an actress, Lana Clarkson. It's a pivotal role in the movie, which is said to put the relationship between Spector and Baden under the microscope.

Midler hasn't been idle since we last saw her on television, most recently providing the voice of Kitty Galore in 2010's Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore. Last year, she also released a compilation of songs from her back-catalogue, entitled Memories of You.

Pacino takes on the meaty role of Spector, focusing on the music mogul's later years, specifically the 2007 mistrial and the subsequent successful prosecution in 2009, when he was convicted of second-degree murder for shooting the struggling actress at his California mansion.

Also joining the cast is Arrested Development's Jeffrey Tambor, who will play another legal eagle on Spector's team. The film has been written and directed by the Academy Award nominee David Mamet, with Barry Levinson on-board as executive producer.

Spector, aged 70, the originator of the "wall of sound" production technique, is currently serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life and is likely to be 88 years old before he is eligible for parole.