EXCLUSIVE: The rise, fall and subsequent rise of famous shoe designer and entrepreneur Steve Madden will be the subject of a TV series. Michael Rapaport (Atypical) will play Madden in the project, produced by Meryl Poster’s Superb Entertainment.
Superb’s Poster and Kara Feifer have optioned the rights to produce a TV series based on Madden’s life, which is detailed in his 2020 memoir, The Cobbler: How I Disrupted An Industry, Fell From Grace & Came Back Stronger Than Ever. Search is currently underway for a writer.
A college dropout who fell in love with shoes while working in a mom and pop shoe store in his Long Island home town, Madden took his company, which makes his eponymous shoe brand, from the fledgling startup he founded thirty years ago with a mere $1,100 to a global juggernaut.
Madden’s complicated story also includes a criminal conviction and a prison sentence after his financial affairs got entangled with the brokerage house Stratton Oakmont, co-founded by Madden’s childhood friend Danny Porush. That part of Madden’s life and career was depicted in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Jordan Belfort and Jonah Hill as Danny Porush. Madden was played in the movie by Jake Hoffman.
Following his release from prison on 2005, Madden returned to his company as Creative and Design Chief and helped rebuild it to its current value of over $3 billion. In his personal life, Madden is an outspoken recovering addict and someone who has learned to navigate ADHD throughout his career. He is also a father to three children whom he shares with his ex-wife.
“From the first time I met with Steve, I knew I wanted to tell his story,” Poster said. “Bringing my longtime friend and collaborator Michael Rapaport onboard is as exciting and perfect as it gets.”
Rapaport, who just signed on to join Amy Schumer in her Hulu series Life & Beth, stars as Doug Gardner in Atypical, whose fourth and final season will be released on Netflix this year. He also recurred on Showtime’s White Famous. His recent feature credits include Conflicted and Blackjack: The Jackie Ryan Story. Rapaport directed When The Garden of Eden for ESPN’s 30 for 30 as well as the documentary Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest for Sony Classics, which won him a PGA Award. He is repped by UTA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners.
In TV, Poster most executive produced Bravo’s long-running series Girlfriends’ Guide To Divorce.