The Madoff investment scandal is getting the Hollywood treatment. Actor Richard Dreyfuss is bringing former stockbroker and fraudster Bernard Madoff to life in “Madoff,” an ABC two-night movie event that begins Wednesday.
“Madoff” is based on the true story of the investment adviser and financier who founded Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC in 1960. For years he ran a vast Ponzi scheme, and was ultimately arrested in 2008 and charged with securities fraud. According to the synopsis, the series will “look into the mind of the man who pulled off one of the greatest cons in history.” The four-hour movie event will start with the rise of Madoff, and explore his “motivations” behind the financial scam that lost his clients billions of dollars. A main focus of the movie will also be on his family.
“That’s what everyone identifies with,” director Raymond de Felitta explained to the Observer of the movie’s focus on family. “I’m a financial moron. I don’t understand and I don’t think people understand exactly all that happened, but what we do understand is trust within families.”
“Jaws” actor Dreyfuss, 68, stars as Madoff, who was sentenced to 150 years in federal prison on June 29, 2009. Blythe Danner (“Meet the Parents”) portrays Madoff’s wife, Ruth, while Tom Lipinski (“Suits”) and Danny Deferrari (“Pan Am”) are Madoff’s sons, Mark and Andrew. Mark later committed suicide, and Andrew died of lymphoma.
This is the first time that Madoff’s story has been brought to life on screen, but HBO is working on its own project on the scandal. The movie is called “The Wizard of Lies” and stars Robert De Niro as the lead character.
“Madoff” will premiere on ABC Wednesday at 8 p.m. EST. The second part will air on Thursday at 8 p.m. EST. Directly following the conclusion of the two-part series will be a one-hour special titled “Madoff: After the Fall.” The special will be hosted by ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross and “Good Morning America” anchor Amy Robach. Watch the trailer for “Madoff” below: