(Bloomberg) — No corner of Wall Street is truly important until Hollywood actors play its heroes and villains. Corporate raiders have â€œWall Street,â€ mortgage-backed securities sparked â€œMargin Call,â€ commodities dominate â€œTrading Placesâ€ and stock brokers star in â€œThe Wolf of Wall Street.â€
Now thereâ€™s competition to be the first Academy Award winner to play Bernie Madoff, mastermind of the worldâ€™s biggest Ponzi scheme.
Richard Dreyfuss has agreed to star in a four-hour ABC miniseries, according to a person at the network who asked not to be identified discussing casting decisions. A project starring Robert De Niro announced in 2011 is still in development at HBO, two people there said.
Meg Ryan, Bette Midler and Susan Sarandon are on ABCâ€™s wish list to play Madoffâ€™s wife, Ruth, the person said. The as-yet-unnamed miniseries will use reporting by ABC Newsâ€™s Brian Ross, who wrote â€œThe Madoff Chroniclesâ€ and will air around the end of the year, the person said.
Dreyfuss, 67, was Dick Cheney in Oliver Stoneâ€™s â€œW.,â€ Baby Face Nelson in â€œDillingerâ€ and Meyer Lansky in a 1999 film named after the gangster. He didnâ€™t respond to e-mails.
â€œItâ€™s not like I ever considered myself a bad person,â€ Madoff, 76, said in a Politico interview last March from a medium-security prison in Butner, North Carolina. He added that â€œeverybody thinks the worst of me.â€ Wearing a single-breasted charcoal suit to court, he was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009 for causing losses of $17.5 billion.
â€œI shouldnâ€™t be saying this now, but Iâ€™ve sort of developed a few Ponzi schemes,â€ De Niro said about preparing for the Madoff role in a 2013 interview with Bloomberg Television. â€œI have my own theories about him. One basic thing, itâ€™s interesting how itâ€™s about trust.â€