Michelle Pfeiffer has signed up to join Robert De Niro for HBO Films’ long-awaited Bernie Madoff movie, Wizard of Lies, the network announced Thursday. The project, which saw some initial buzz in 2011, has been moving at a glacial pace, but the addition of Pfeiffer is a welcome sign things are finally picking up. Pfeiffer will play De Niro’s onscreen wife, Ruth Madoff, and they’ll be joined by Alessandro Nivola, who will take a turn as Madoff’s older son, Mark. (That is what you call picture-perfect casting — even before all the makeup!) The story follows Madoff’s infamous Ponzi scheme; Barry Levinson will direct, based on Diana Henriques’s book of the same name, as well as Laurie Sandell’s Truth and Consequences. Sam Baum, Sam Levinson, and John Burnham Schwartz are attached as writers for the script. Other production details, most notably with regard to timeline, are unavailable at the moment. Like everyone, De Niro & Co. are probably just hoping this thing gets made before Madoff gets out of jail — which, I guess, would be sometime in 2159. Fingers crossed.
Michelle Pfeiffer. Photo: Clemens Bilan/Getty Images