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HBO Movie With Robert De Niro Playing Bernie Madoff Moves Forward As Writer Comes Aboard

by Benjamin Wright
October 24, 2011 6:04 AM
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Looks as if fellow legendary actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino must have had lunch together recently, because De Niro could follow in Pacino’s footsteps by playing a notorious real-life individual for an HBO movie. Perhaps hearing good things from Pacino about his work on “You Don’t Know Jack,” where he walked away with a Best Actor Golden Globe for playing assisted suicide advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian, it was announced back in May (something we missed due to the crush of Cannes) that De Niro was in negotiations to play Ponzi scheme enthusiast Bernie Madoff in HBO’s adaptation of the bestselling “The Wizard Of Lies: Bernie Madoff And The Death Of Trust.”

As Deadline now reports, the film has just found its writer in John Burnham Schwartz, who’s best known for penning the book and co-writing the screenplay for the 2007 drama “Reservation Road.” Schwartz has come aboard to give the project a dose of momentum, as he is set to write the script based on author Diane Henriques’ non-fiction book, which attracted the attention of HBO when it debuted at number ten on the The New York Times bestseller list back in May. For those who don’t know, “The Wizard Of Lies: Bernie Madoff And The Death Of Trust” recounts the life of Bernie Madoff, a notorious swindler who concocted a $65-billion dollar Ponzi scheme that would ruin the lives of many and garner him a 150 year prison sentence at a North Carolina correctional facility in 2009.

As previously mentioned with “You Don’t Know Jack,” HBO has a knack for taking these sort of high profile projects and making them must-see television, so we have faith that “The Wizard of Lies” will at the very least be worth a watch. As for the involvement of De Niro, the actor could maybe use a prestige project like this to keep up his clout, but he had a fine turn in “Limitless” this year, and upcoming crowd pleaser “New Year's Eve” will keep this always reliable actor in the public eye. As for the involvement of Schwartz, this writer particularly didn’t care for “Reservation Road,” but then again the guy hasn’t done too much else so he deserves another shot.

As the film is still in the development stages, there’s no telling yet when it’ll bow on the pay cable channel, but we’d guess you’ll know when De Niro is nominated for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television.”

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More: Actors, TV Networks, Robert De Niro

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  • 65 million | October 25, 2011 2:39 AMReply

    It's $65 Bbbbbbbilion not million.

  • Julius Robinson | October 25, 2011 1:07 AMReply

    Article error -- 65 Billion Ponzi scheme -- not million.

  • moovyphreak | October 24, 2011 11:03 AMReply

    Pacino was filming an HBO film about music producer Phil Spector directed by award-winning playwright/director David Mamet this past summer. It will most likely air sometime next year. Photos of Pacino as Spector with varying hairstyles via links below.

  • Robert | October 24, 2011 10:31 AMReply

    Cell Lo Brown, who cares?

    If don't want to watch it then don't. The straight to DVD movie was probably crap anyways.

  • Rachel Star | October 24, 2011 10:28 AMReply

    Bernie Madoff made a lot of money and also screwed a lot of people out of their money with his ponzi scheme. If you don't know about the Madoff Ponzi scheme, this article gives a great explanation on it.

  • Cee Lo Brown | October 24, 2011 7:06 AMReply

    They just made a straight to DVD film about Bernie Madoff called 'Madoff: Made Off with America' which isn't even out yet and they're already making another movie about him.

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