Al Pacino Joe Paterno

Al Pacino to Play Joe Paterno in HBO Pic About Penn State Scandal

Al Pacino is tackling the Penn State sex abuse scandal head-on.

The Oscar winner is set to play late college football legend Joe Paterno in a currently untitled HBO movie that chronicles the coach’s downfall in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

The project — directed by Barry Levinson, who teamed with Pacino on the recent HBO pic Wizard of Lies — will delve into how the darkest chapter in Penn State history challenged Paterno’s legacy as the winningest coach in college football history, forcing him to face questions of institutional failure on behalf of the victims.

Levinson will serve as an EP alongside frequent collaborator Tom Fontana, as well as Jason Sosnoff, Ed Pressman, Rick Nicita and Lindsay Sloane. Debora Cahn (Grey’s Anatomy), John C. Richards (Nurse Betty) and David McKenna (E-Ring) are penning the script. Sony Pictures Television is producing.

A Penn State movie has been in the works at HBO for years. Back in 2013, Brian De Palma was set to helm a pic based on Joe Posnanski’s book Paterno, with Pacino set in the starring role. However, a year later, HBO announced that it had “suspended pre-production for a moment to deal with budget issues.”

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8 Comments
  1. Susie says:

    Wasn’t Brian De Palma supposed to direct this?

  2. N says:

    I was gonna say, before i read the last paragraph, that I thought this project was announced years ago. I’m glad Pacino is still on board , as it is great casting.

  3. Walkie says:

    Perfect casting with Pacino. He’s doing his best work with HBO the past few years.

  4. sev619 says:

    This references Pacino and Levinson worked together on Wizard of Lies. Did the two produce with Robert DeNiro?

  5. David Graf says:

    I can’t imagine watching this movie. It is beyond contempt that Paterno could shelter a pedophile and do nothing to help the kids.

    • Nerwen says:

      I very much doubt they’re going to make excuses like the Penn State fans still do. I hope they show this accurately make it clear Paterno was very wrong

  6. Billy Bob Johnson says:

    JoePa: Hey, Jerry.
    Sandusky: Hey, Joe, say hello to my little friend.

    Too much?

    Sandusky: You never open your mouth until you know what the shot is.

    Way too much.

  7. KLS says:

    With the Sandusky scandal and now their fraternity system out of control, who will watch anything about Penn State at all? I am surprised they haven’t been kicked out of the B1G.