To me, Al Pacino sounded less-than-forthcoming during a recent press conference to promote HBO’s Phil Spector, a David Mamet-directed and written drama about the murder trial of Phil Spector (Pacino) and his relationship with attorney Linda Kenney Baden (Helen Mirren), who represented the ’60s pop music maestro in his first trial for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson.

Helen Mirren and Al Pacino in David Mamet‘s Phil Spector, airing next month on HBO.

He said he “didn’t feel the necessity to meet” Spector because the jailbird Spector “would have been…a different person. The person I’m playing is the guy who was there before he was convicted.” Fine, but then he said “I played him as what I believe David Mamet wrote and how I believed to interpret him.” And that was it?

I’m going to ask a three-month-old question again, and this time it’s addressed to Pacino and well as Mamet. Are you guys telling me that neither Pacino nor Mamet has watched Vikram Jayanti‘s The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector? Are you telling me that the idea to make a Spector film wasn’t at least partly inspired by Jayanti’s doc, which aired on British TV in 2008 and opened at the Film Forum in June 2010?

Your film came together in (I believe) either late 2010 or early 2011 and was shot sometime between the middle and final-third of that year, and you’re telling me the idea just occured to Mamet or producer Barry Levinson all on its own & out of the friggin’ blue?

No offense but I don’t think so, guys. You should do the decent thing and give credit to Jayanti, if not contractually then at least in interviews.

Here’s that longish article I wrote about Jayanti’s doc on 6.26.10. It’s a good piece of writing if I do say so myself.

Phil Spector will premiere on HBO in February.