The full trailer has finally dropped for HBO's upcoming non-fiction drama film, Wizard of Lies. The story is a look at investment tycoon and con man Bernie Madoff (played by Robert De Niro) and his family (Michelle Pfeiffer as his wife Ruth, and Alessandro Nivola and Nathan Darrow as his sons Mark and Andrew) as his long-running Ponzi scheme begins to collapse around him .
The films creation is itself a family affair as it is being directed by veteran filmmaker, Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Good Morning Vietnam, and Wag the Dog), with a screenplay by Levinson's son, Sam Levinson. Sam's only prior writing credit was also for his first directorial effort, the 2011 Another Happy Day. Wizard is based on the book of the same name by New York Times reporter, Diana Henriques. Diana was the investigative lead on the paper's investigation into the scheme and she held the first interview with Madoff in prison. Diana will be playing herself in the film.
Over the span of several decades, Madoff would take investors funds and use those to create fake profit returns for earlier investors. That way anyone actually seeking to pull any of their funds would find actual cash available. However under the hood, there were never any investments or trades actually being executed. The full extent of the financial impact of Madoff's crimes may never be known; by the time he was sentenced in 2009 the total losses to investors exceeded $18 billion. He was sentenced to 150 years in prison and will be eligible for release in the Winter of 2139.