t’s not everyday that Don Michael Corleone, Tony Montana, Frank Serpico and Lt. Col. Frank Slade all walk into the Supreme Courthouse in Mineola.
The embodiment of the roles, actor Al Pacino, along with fellow Oscar-winner Helen Mirren and a cast of extras and crew members numbering more than 100 descended upon the courthouse Monday and Tuesday for a location shoot for the movie about infamous music producer Phil Spector.
The still untitled HBO biopic centers around Spector (Pacino) and his relationship with his defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden (Mirren) while on trial for the murder of Lana Clarkson, who was found dead in Spector’s California mansion. Jeffrey Tambor (The Hangover, Hellboy) is also starring as Bruce Cutler, another of Spector’s defense attorneys.
Spector was convicted in 2009 of second degree murder and is currently serving a sentence of 19 years to life.
Originally Bette Midler was cast in the role of Baden, but withdrew after suffering a herniated disc.
Monday Mirren could be seen shooting part of a scene in which she arrives at the California courthouse in front of a crowd of protesters. Staged seals were placed next to the entrances of the court building with the California state seal on them and palm trees decorated the driveway to the southern entrance.
County Executive Ed Mangano also made an appearance Monday, saying that the on-location shooting would net the county an additional $10,000 in revenues. Mangano’s three sons also were present on set and made into extras as part of the crowd scene.
The rest of the footage filmed focused on Pacino's and Mirren’s interactions coming and going from the courthouse during the various trials. Spector was tried twice, the first ending in a mistrial as the result of a hung jury.
The court remained open without disruption during the entire shoot at the southern entrance.
The movie is expected to premiere on HBO sometime in 2012.