HBO Films has released the first teaser for Barry Levinson‘s The Wizard of Lies, the Oscar-winning director’s examination of Bernie Madoff‘s infamous Ponzi scheme, his life-long deceptions, and how his financial ruin rocked the private and public lives of his family and his countless victims. Robert De Niro stars as Madoff alongside Michelle Pfeiffer as Ruth Madoff, Bernie’s wife of fifty-plus years who was duped into being his unwitting partner.
The Wizard of Lies also stars Alessandro Nivola and Nathan Darrow as Mark and Andrew Madoff, Bernie’s sons, both of whom worked with their father at his investment firm. Kristen Connolly, Lily Rabe, and Hank Azaria also star with Diana B. Henriques, the journalist who penned the book which the film is based, plays herself.
The Wizard of Lies will debut on HBO in May, watch the first teaser below.
This is a good teaser, but the extended they showed at HBO’s portion of the TCA press tour was absolutely fantastic, a chilling, infuriating and deeply compelling glimpse and the mind of a mad genius and the fallout of his greed.
Speaking to the press, De Niro talked about the challenge of stepping into the mind of such a prodigious swindler, “What he did is beyond my comprehension, so there’s a disconnect somehow in him,” he said. “And I still would like to understand. I did the best I could, but I don’t understand.”
But if the actor struggled to get to a place of understanding, he could have fooled Henriques, who recalled performing an improved interview with De Niro in which he was able to answer every question in character. “Bob is having to answer those questions extemporaneously, out of Bernie Madoff’s brain,” she said, “To be able to occupy the character outside the script….It was surreal.”