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De Niro could play fraudster Madoff in TV film

By Agence France-Presse
Tuesday, November 8, 2011 16:51 EDT
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LOS ANGELES — Hollywood legend Robert De Niro is lined up to play shamed Wall Street financier Bernard Madoff in a planned US television film about his massive fraud scandal, a spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The two-time Oscar winner is penciled in to play the Ponzi scheme mastermind in the made-for-TV movie in development for HBO, the HBO spokeswoman said, confirming details in the New York Times.

The film has not yet been put into production, the newspaper reported. The HBO spokeswoman gave no more details.

De Niro is executive producer on the project — based on the book “The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust” by New York Times writer Diana B. Henriques — along with Jane Rosenthal of Tribeca Productions.

They have also obtained rights to “Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family” by Laurie Sandell, which was written with the cooperation of Madoff’s son Andrew.

The screenplay is being written by John Burnham Schwartz, best-known for his novel “Reservation Road.”

Madoff took in some $65 billion from thousands of clients over decades, building a reputation as a shrewd investment manager by paying out fake “profits” to some investors by plundering the new cash from others.

His pyramid, or Ponzi, fraud scheme collapsed in 2008, wiping out numerous family fortunes, and Picard has been tasked with recovering as much of the money as possible for investors.

He was arrested in December 2008 and is currently serving a 150-year prison term.

HBO has a history of making TV movies from major news events, including “Too Big To Fail,” about the 2008 global financial meltdown and “Recount,” about the controversial 2000 US presidential election.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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