October 12, 2010 / 1:36 AM / 9 years ago

HBO taps Hollywood for "Too Big to Fail" finance movie

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Cable network HBO on Monday unveiled the cast for its upcoming financial crisis movie “Too Big to Fail,” led by Paul Giamatti as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Ed Asner as investor Warren Buffett.

U.S. actor Paul Giamatti smiles during the news conference for the film "Barney's Version" at the 35th Toronto International Film Festival September 12, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Cassese

Based on a book of the same name by New York Times journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin, “Too Big to Fail” looks at the men and women on Wall Street and in Washington who managed the U.S. economy as it went into a tailspin in 2008 fueled by toxic mortgages.

The TV movie will center around former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (played by William Hurt) and the events over a few weeks when he and his staff worked feverishly with Wall Street bankers and Washington policy makers to keep the U.S. economy from slipping into another Great Depression.

Key to the story are characters like billionaire Buffett, known as “the Oracle of Ohama,” who wields an enormous amount of influence on Wall Street, as well as current Treasury Secretary Timothy Geitner, portrayed by Billy Crudup.

Other important figures include Washington power players Michele Davis (Cynthia Nixon) and Jim Wilkinson (Topher Grace), former Lehman Brothers chief executive Dick Fuld (James Woods) and U.S. Representative Barney Frank (Dan Hedaya).

The TV movie is written by Peter Gould and directed by Curtis Hanson, who was nominated for an Oscar for his film “L.A. Confidential” and won the Academy Award for adapted screenplay for the same movie.

Other key roles and actors include:

Ayad Akhtar as Neel Kashkari

Kathy Baker as Wendy Paulson

Michael O’Keefe as Chris Flowers

Tony Shalhoub as John Mack

Joey Slotnick as Dan Jester.

Time Warner Inc-owned HBO is the U.S.’s premium cable network and the most Emmy-nominated network every year since 2001.

Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte, Editing by Belinda Goldsmith

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