Wizard of Lies by Diana Henriques

Deadline: HBO’s ‘Wizard Of Lies’ Madoff Movie A Go With Michelle Pfeiffer, Alessandro Nivola Joining Robert De Niro; Barry Levinson To Direct

HBO Films’ long-gestating Bernie Madoff movie, starring Robert De Niro as thedisgraced financier, is going ahead with a lead cast and a director. Joining De Niro, who plays Madoff, are Michelle Pfeiffer as his wife, Ruth Madoff, and Alessandro Nivola as Madoff’s older son Mark Madoff, who committed suicide. Barry Levinson, who directed the HBO Films movie about another controversial figure, You Don’t Know Jack, starring Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian, is set to direct. He executive produces with Tribeca Prods’s De Niro and Jane Rosenthal as well as Berry Welsh. Jason Sosnoff is a co-executive producer.

Based on the book Wizard of Lies by Diana Henriques, with Truth and Consequences by Laurie Sandell as additional source material, Wizard of Lies is described as a look behind the scenes at Bernie Madoff’s massive Ponzi scheme, how it was perpetrated on the public and the trail of destruction it left in its wake, both for the victims and Madoff’s family.

The film, which tells the story of the imprisoned swindler and the $65 billion Ponzi scheme he concocted, had been in the works at HBO since 2011, when the network optioned Henriques’ book, attached De Niro to play Madoff and hired John Burnham Schwartz to write the script. A year later, HBO brought in a new writer, Sam Baum, and acquired Sandell’s book. There has been a third writer taking a stab at the script since, with Sam Levinson creditedas a writer on the movie alongside Baum and Schwartz.

Pfeiffer and Nivola are repped by Management 360 and CAA.