Though his early career is filled with appearances and one-off spots on TV series, Academy Award winner Richard Dreyfuss is mostly known for his work on the big screen, taking on things like killer sharks, aliens and flirtatious blondes in white Thunderbirds. But he’ll soon don an expensive suit (presumably paid for with dirty money) to play the infamous financier Bernie Madoff for an upcoming ABC drama simply titled Madoff.
In case you were under a rock throughout 2009, Bernie Madoff was the chairman of a highly lucrative Wall Street firm for decades until his sons Andrew and Mark revealed to authorities that their father’s company was basically built on bullshit. The FBI and SEC soon discovered Madoff’s Ponzi scheme was arguably the biggest financial fraud incident in U.S. history. After decades of secretly bilking billions of dollars out of investors, Madoff was arrested in December 2008, and after months of investigations, the former financial advisor was sentenced to 150 years in prison, where he sits today.
Here’s a shot of him around the time of his arrest, so you can do some mental matching to see how well Dreyfuss will look in the part. It’s also worth noting that ABC is looking at several high-profile actresses for the part of Madoff’s wife Ruth, according to THR.
It’s unclear at this time what form of series Madoff will become, as the specific number of episodes has not been determined yet. However many it ends up producing, ABC is definitely planning on delivering it as a limited series with a fixed ending in place. Which isn’t hard to do, since the ending has already been written in real life. The project will likely cover Madoff’s rise to riches, as well as his downfall.
ABC has teamed up with Lincoln Square Productions for Madoff, and all the scheming and money-making will be based on The Madoff Chronicles: Inside the Secret World of Bernie and Ruth, as written by chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross. Penning the script will be Ben Robbins, who has worked with true-life projects like Biography and Final Witness. Though there have been a couple of documentaries, this will be the first fictional account of Madoff’s life, with past potential projects never coming together.
This will be Richard Dreyfuss’ first regular TV role since 2002’s shortlived comedy The Education of Max Bickford, though he has since appeared on shows such as Parenthood, Weeds, and the miniseries Coma. He’ll next be seen in Joel David Moore’s comedy Killing Winston Jones opposite Danny Glover.
No premiere date has been agreed upon for Madoff, but we can probably expect to find it on ABC later this year.