Not content seeing decades-long doppelganger Al Pacino revel in moderate praise for his portrayal of Dr. Jack Kevorkian in HBO's You Don't Know Jack, Robert De Niro is in talks to play another controversial character in an HBO move with an amazingly lazy title. The Wizard of Lies would cast De Niro as reviled scamster Bernie Madoff in a what Deadline claims to be "he definitive look at Madoff and his $65 billion Ponzi scheme."

The bad news: This doesn't sound like a role that would be in Bobby D's wheelhouse. His past historical roles (Al Capone and Frankenstein's monster, which I know isn't technically "historic," but is familiar enough that it might as well be) have required far less nuance than Madoff would, and both those performances were not among De Niro's finest.

That said, it's safe to say that his participation in any project lends it immediate legitimacy, save for the Meet the Parents franchise, so it's easy to see what HBO gets out of this. Seeing him as a socialite with vast wealth will be a context in which we've never seen De Niro. Huh. I guess in many ways this will be like playing Al Capone. (Deadline)