Hank Azaria has been cast in a key role opposite Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Alessandro Nivola in The Wizard Of Lies, HBO Films’ movie about disgraced financier Bernie Madoff. Directed by Barry Levinson, Wizard Of Lies is described as a look behind the scenes at Madoff’s (De Niro) massive Ponzi scheme, how it was perpetrated on the public and the trail of destruction it left in its wake, both for the victims and Madoff’s family.
Azaria will play Frank Dipascali, Madoff’s right-hand man in the scheme. Referring to himself as the “director of options trading” and “chief financial officer” for Madoff Investment Securities LLC, Dipascali worked on the secretive 17th floor, where much of the fraud was carried out. He pleaded guilty and was a key cooperating witness against the five former Madoff staffers who were convicted at trial. Dipascali died of cancer in May.
Pfeiffer plays Madoff’s wife, Ruth Madoff, and Nivola plays Madoff’s older son Mark Madoff, who committed suicide in 2010.
The film was written by Sam Levinson, Sam Baum and John Burnham Schwartz based on the book Wizard Of Lies by Diana Henriques, with Truth And Consequences by Laurie Sandell as additional source material. Levinson executive produces with Tribeca Prods’ De Niro and Jane Rosenthal as well as Berry Welsh. Jason Sosnoff is a co-executive producer.
Azaria is repped by WME and attorney David Weber.