Crazy Eddie: Biopic Directed by Danny De Vito

March 11, 2009–Danny De Vito will direct “Crazy Eddie,” based on the life of consumer electronics king Eddie Antar.

Peter Steinfeld (“21”) is writing the script, about the man who launched the successful Crazy Eddie chain in 1971 but wound up serving six years in prison for fraud.

DeVito and Steinfeld have bought Antar's life rights and will produce the film with Isaac Chera and Elliott Azrak, two businessmen who are supplying the development capital. Chera and Azrak grew up around the corner from the first store Antar and his family opened in Brooklyn.

Eddie Antar was a pioneer in discount consumer electronics, and Crazy Eddie's grew to 43 stores, fueled by TV ads in which a frenzied pitchman promised prices that were “In-sa-a-a-a-a-ane!” Antar took the company public and briefly became a Wall Street sensation.

He falsified inventory to inflate stock value. Losing control of his company in a hostile takeover, Antar went on the lam after the new owners uncovered his financial shenanigans and the SEC charged him with stock fraud. He fled to Israel — where he'd deposited millions of dollars — only to be extradited three years later. He ultimately served a prison term that ended in 1999 and was ordered to pay $150 million in fines.

DeVito had directed or produced biopic on such diverse figures as Jimmy Hoffa and Andy Kaufman

Steinfeld had penned “Be Cool” and “Drowning Mona,” and just penned a remake of “Slap Shot” to be directed by Dean Parisot for Warner. DeVito just completed Mark Steven Johnson's “When in Rome,” and he will return for a fifth season of the FX series “It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.”