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Michelle Pfeiffer to play Bernie Madoff's wife, Ruth, in HBO's 'Wizard of Lies'

Michelle Pfeiffer to play Bernie Madoff's wife, Ruth, in HBO's 'Wizard of Lies'
Michelle Pfeiffer, shown in 2009,will star as Ruth Madoff, wife of Ponzi scheme mastermindBernie Madoff, in HBO's "The Wizard of Lies," which has been in the works for years. (Jennifer S. Altman / For the Los Angeles Times)

Michelle Pfeiffer will star as Ruth Madoff, wife of Ponzi scheme mastermind Bernie Madoff, in the long-gestating biopic "The Wizard of Lies," HBO announced Thursday.

She joins Robert DeNiro, who will star as the notorious swindler, and Alessandro Nivola, who will play son Andrew Madoff.

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Barry Levinson, who has previously collaborated with DeNiro on such films as "Wag the Dog" and "Sleepers," will executive produce and direct from a script by John Burnham Schwartz, Sam Levinson and Sam Baum.

"The Wizard of Lies" will tell the story of Madoff's $65-billion scam and the destruction it wreaked on his family, friends and investors.

The project has been in the works at HBO since 2011, when the premium network optioned Diana Henriques' nonfiction book of the same name. HBO later acquired the rights to Laurie Sandell's Madoff book, "Truth and Consequences," as additional source material.

DeNiro will also executive produce with his partner, Jane Rosenthal.

ABC also has a miniseries called "Madoff" in the works, starring Blythe Danner and Richard Dreyfuss as the infamous couple.

It's the first major TV role in decades for Pfeiffer, who is the latest big screen star to migrate to HBO. Production is underway on "The Young Pope," starring Jude Law and, in her first regular series role, Diane Keaton

Follow @MeredithBlake on Twitter.

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