ByD.C. Fenoff, writer at
Writer. Adult-ish. Oh, And I Really Like Crossword Puzzles. Twitter: OaODCFenoff
D.C. Fenoff

America definitely has its fair share of tragic stories. The infamous fall of Bernie Madoff was one of the most talked about and riveting stories of 2008. The aftermath, the crushing blow to his many, many clients as they learned what he'd done, was absolutely devastating, not only to them but to many millions of us that tuned in to see it all unfold on . And now we'll get the chance to relive it all over again as gears up to tackle the notorious scandal on May 20.

We've not heard too much regarding what went down while the film's leads, and , worked on becoming the Madoff couple. But now director/producer Barry Levinson has let a few secrets from the set loose with an inside glimpse at what viewers can expect when the film premieres later in the spring.

Originally intended for the big screen, the adaptation was sent to HBO after the producers and director agreed it would be available to a much wider audience than the alternative route of releasing it as an indie feature.

'The Wizard Of Lies' [Credit: HBO]
'The Wizard Of Lies' [Credit: HBO]

Speaking first about the 41-day shoot, Levinson said the film was shot on location in the city and neighborhoods where this actually took place. When talking about the film's story, Levinson wanted people to be aware that it would pull no punches when it comes to the gritty details of the Madoff family's total catastrophic collapse.

“Our script paints no personal picture. This story, in terms of the actual destruction of a family, is like Arthur Miller’s ‘All My Sons.’ A very wealthy man’s greed — under cloak of secrecy — destroying thousands of people’s lives."

Though people have now started to finally get back what was taken from them by Madoff, the wounds left from the 2008 scandal have made an undeniable impact on just how far a person should let their faith in others extend. Like the title of the book upon which the film is based, this truly was the death of trust.

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'The Wizard Of Lies' [Credit: HBO]
'The Wizard Of Lies' [Credit: HBO]

But the question fans had been wondering was this: Did the team meet with Madoff? Madoff has been incarcerated since 2009 after he was sentenced to 150 years, the maximum allowed. Though Bernie gave no indication that he wanted to meet with the film team, the script was adapted from the novel written by Diana B. Henriques who interviewed Bernie and who plays herself in the film.

Unlike De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer was able to spend some time with the character she's playing, the woman who lost it all. Ruth Madoff, a victim as much as the people Bernie robbed, sat down with Pfeiffer to dive deep into some of the conversations that went on between her and her husband, a man she's not seen in many years.

“Michelle Pfeiffer spent some time with Mrs. Madoff, so she got a sense of what the woman was like and conversations that might’ve taken place. Whether Mrs. Madoff will attend the screening, no idea. There’s not much family left. We really only have her."

'The Wizard Of Lies' premieres on Saturday, May 20 on HBO.


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