HBO has bought the recently published book Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family, which was written with the co-operation of Madoff's son Andrew and other family members.

De Niro, 68, will star as Madoff, the former Wall St. financial expert who swindled investors out of an estimated $50bn with a Ponzi scheme.

Truth and Consequences was written by Laurie Sandell and describes the aftermath of Madoff's arrest over four years ago. Madoff, 73, was sentenced for 150 years and has since been disowned by his family following the suicide of his eldest son Mark in December 2010. Mark hanged himself on the second anniversary of his father's arrest.

The biography will act as source material for the film which is being produced by De Niro and his partner Jane Rosenthal from his company Tribeca Productions.

Another book on the financial fraudster has been written by the widow of his son Mark. Stephanie Madoff Mack has written the book The End of Normal: A Wife's Anguish, A Widow's New Life.