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Bernie Madoff movie lands on HBO

Robert De Niro stars as Bernie Madoff in a film that will be broadcast on HBO.

(Reuters)

The Makers of an upcoming HBO film about Bernard Madoff in the first instance wanted to make a feature film for the cinema, but quickly realized that the contemporary film industry had little interest in an intricate story about a financial scam.

The major studios have set their sights on action heroes or comic books. An independent studio needed time-consuming effort to raise money and less exposure, said Jane Rosenthal, executive producer of “The Wizard of Lies on Saturday. The movie with Robert de Niro in the lead role, will debut in May.”

If the scenes are all fade and … the company is such a radical change, this was the best place to make the film and to ensure that we have a great audience,” she said.

The film is based on a book with the same title, by Diana Henriques, who advised HBO. Filmmakers said that it is different from other projects in the Madoff case, as an ABC miniseries, which delves more into what happened with his family.

“What he did is a mystery to me,” DeNiro said. “So there is a disconnect one way or the other in him, that I would still want to understand. I did the best I could, but I don’t understand … The only things that I feel strongly about is that he is not to his children and he would not tell to his wife. But everyone around him probably had an idea. They just didn’t want to look too deep, because they knew that there was something not quite right.”

Henriques, a financial reporter, had Madoff as a resource in the years before his Ponzi scheme was discovered, and trusted him back then.

She said that it was a strange experience of seeing DeNiro fully inhabit the character. At one point, director Barry Levinson thought of having Henriques, who had conducted jailhouse interviews with Madoff, improvise by means of interviews with de Niro if he was Madoff. Some of that ended up in the film.

The presentation was so effective, she said, “that I vow right then and there to never investment advice of Bob de Niro.”

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