It’s been more than two years since Bernard Madoff confessed to running the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time. Now the script has flipped: People are worming their way out of the woodwork to make a buck off Madoff. The first wave of Madoff lit has already been released, including fraud investigator Harry Markopolos's No One Would Listen and mistress Sheryl Weinstein’s Madoff’s Other Secret. A documentary film, The Foxhounds, based on Markopolos’s book, was released last November, and a play, Imagining Madoff, is opening in Washington this summer at Theater J. In Hollywood, thinly veiled takes are starting to trickle out. Tower Heist, a comedy about a group of working men seeking revenge on their Ponzi schemer, is scheduled for fall.

Yet a big-budget Madoff feature has yet to be made—possibly because anyone ever hoping to work with swindled bigwigs Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and even Kevin Bacon has had second thoughts. Or because pulling it off will be so tricky, especially the casting. “The easiest part would be depicting all the dupes; they range from Swiss bankers to Connecticut WASPs to plumbers to movie stars to this Austrian banker lady who wears wacky wigs,” says Erin Arvedlund, author of the Madoff book Too Good to Be True. “The harder part is within the family. It would be like casting The Godfather all over again.” To get things started, Bloomberg Businessweek asked Arvedlund and top Hollywood casting directors Sarah Katzman (Wedding Crashers, Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma) and Nancy Nayor (The Whole Nine Yards, Road Trip, Scream 4) to cast a hypothetical Madoff blockbuster.
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It’s been more than two years since Bernard Madoff confessed to running the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time. Now the script has flipped: People are worming their way out of the woodwork to make a buck off Madoff. The first wave of Madoff lit has already been released, including fraud investigator Harry Markopolos's No One Would Listen and mistress Sheryl Weinstein’s Madoff’s Other Secret. A documentary film, The Foxhounds, based on Markopolos’s book, was released last November, and a play, Imagining Madoff, is opening in Washington this summer at Theater J. In Hollywood, thinly veiled takes are starting to trickle out. Tower Heist, a comedy about a group of working men seeking revenge on their Ponzi schemer, is scheduled for fall.

Yet a big-budget Madoff feature has yet to be made—possibly because anyone ever hoping to work with swindled bigwigs Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and even Kevin Bacon has had second thoughts. Or because pulling it off will be so tricky, especially the casting. “The easiest part would be depicting all the dupes; they range from Swiss bankers to Connecticut WASPs to plumbers to movie stars to this Austrian banker lady who wears wacky wigs,” says Erin Arvedlund, author of the Madoff book Too Good to Be True. “The harder part is within the family. It would be like casting The Godfather all over again.” To get things started, Bloomberg Businessweek asked Arvedlund and top Hollywood casting directors Sarah Katzman (Wedding Crashers, Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma) and Nancy Nayor (The Whole Nine Yards, Road Trip, Scream 4) to cast a hypothetical Madoff blockbuster.
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Casting the Bernie Madoff Movie

The Ultimate Madoff Biopic
The Ultimate Madoff Biopic
It’s been more than two years since Bernard Madoff confessed to running the biggest Ponzi scheme of all time. Now the script has flipped: People are worming their way out of the woodwork to make a buck off Madoff. The first wave of Madoff lit has already been released, including fraud investigator Harry Markopolos's No One Would Listen and mistress Sheryl Weinstein’s Madoff’s Other Secret. A documentary film, The Foxhounds, based on Markopolos’s book, was released last November, and a play, Imagining Madoff, is opening in Washington this summer at Theater J. In Hollywood, thinly veiled takes are starting to trickle out. Tower Heist, a comedy about a group of working men seeking revenge on their Ponzi schemer, is scheduled for fall.

Yet a big-budget Madoff feature has yet to be made—possibly because anyone ever hoping to work with swindled bigwigs Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and even Kevin Bacon has had second thoughts. Or because pulling it off will be so tricky, especially the casting. “The easiest part would be depicting all the dupes; they range from Swiss bankers to Connecticut WASPs to plumbers to movie stars to this Austrian banker lady who wears wacky wigs,” says Erin Arvedlund, author of the Madoff book Too Good to Be True. “The harder part is within the family. It would be like casting The Godfather all over again.” To get things started, Bloomberg Businessweek asked Arvedlund and top Hollywood casting directors Sarah Katzman (Wedding Crashers, Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma) and Nancy Nayor (The Whole Nine Yards, Road Trip, Scream 4) to cast a hypothetical Madoff blockbuster.
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Bernard Madoff
Bernard Madoff
The $65 billion Ponzi mastermind.

“He physically looks like him,” Nayor says. “In order to do the story justice you have to cast it with weighty actors who can handle that kind of storytelling. Hoffman is one of the greatest actors of all time. To portray the story accurately, you really need actors of that caliber.”

Katzman’s pick for Madoff is Anthony Hopkins: “He’s a total genius. He can do anything.”
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Ruth Madoff
Ruth Madoff
Was his wife an accomplice—or clueless?

“It’s between her and Edie Falco, for the energy as well as the look,” says Katzman. “They both definitely have it in them.”
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer,
Mark Madoff
Mark Madoff
Bernie’s eldest son who co-ran his father’s trading division. He committed suicide last year.

“Mark feels like he’s out of another era,” says Nayor. “Hamm’s got that old-fashioned thing going on, too.”
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Andrew Madoff
Andrew Madoff
The younger son who ran his father’s trading division with his brother.

“Andrew’s looks are sort of off-center compared to Mark’s, who’s sort of the prince,” says Nayor. “Patrick’s face is a little off-center as well. He’s handsome and he feels like that all-American boy, but in a slightly warped way.”
Newscom,
Irving Picard
Irving Picard
Madoff liquidation trustee tasked with cleaning up the mess.

“That sort of gravitas in the face is necessary here,” says Nayor.
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Sheryl Weinstein
Sheryl Weinstein
Penned a salacious tell-all about her affair with Madoff.

“It would be a sort of different way to go,” says Katzman. “But of course, Meryl can play anything.”

Naylor’s pick for Sheryl Weinstein is Bette Midler: “She has a great likeness.”
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Walter Noel
Walter Noel
The Greenwich hedge fund manager who ran a Madoff feeder fund.

“He’s British, but he’s such a good actor,” Katzman says. “He could definitely pull it off—he has such poise.”

Arvedlund’s pick for Walter Noel is Jeremy Irons: “I could picture someone like him in the role.”
Amber De Vos/PatrickMcMullan.com,
Sonja Kohn
Sonja Kohn
Hedge fund empress accused by Picard of collaborating.

Says Katzman, “We could make her hair look like that.”

Nayor’s pick for Sonja Kohn? David Paymer, in drag: “That’s the most masculine face I think I’ve ever seen!”
Bloomberg,
Jeffrey Katzenberg
Jeffrey Katzenberg
The scammed DreamWorks Animation CEO.

“As an actor, you have to be bold and gutsy to play one of these Hollywood icons,” Nayor says. “He’s at an age where he can do it.”
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Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick
Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick
The swindled (and ubiquitous) movie stars.

“They’d have to!” Katzman says. “Unless it’s years and years from now and you could have their kids do it. Anything else would be very awkward.”
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