Robert De Niro to play Bernie Madoff

Robert De Niro

Robert De Niro

He has played a taxi driver, a boxer and a mobster in his time. Now Robert De Niro is to take on the role of one of the most notorious fraudsters of the last century.

The actor is set to star as the title role in a biopic of the fall of Bernie Madoff, the financier who is serving a 150 year prison sentence for his $65 billion Ponzi scheme.

The project has been backed by the network HBO.

The script will be based on Laurie Sandell's biography of Madoff, "Truth and Consequences: Life Inside the Madoff Family". The book was written with the help of Madoff's estranged son Andrew.

More than 13,000 people lost money through the collapse of Madoff Securities, including Jewish organisations from Hadassah and Yeshiva University, Holocaust survivor and human rights campaigner Elie Wiesel, director Steven Spielberg and actress Zsa Zsa Gabor.

Last updated: 3:32pm, November 7 2011