Al Pacino To Star As Joe Paterno In New HBO Film

Getty Images

Getty Images

The movie will reportedly delve into how the Jerry Sandusky scandal challenged Paterno's legacy and the Penn State football program.

Al Pacino will attempt to get inside Joe Paterno's head.

Al Pacino will work alongside director Barry Levinson to star as Joe Paterno in an upcoming movie for HBO centered on the longtime Penn State coach and focused on his inaction during the school's sexual abuse scandal. Debora Cahn, John C. Richards, and David McKenna will write. The actor has been connected to the film since its inception several years ago, though HBO put it on the back burner shortly after the project was announced. An unnamed HBO representative told Deadline then that the movie's team was still intact. This will be the Oscar-winner's fourth project with the company.

Paterno died months later after losing his battle to lung cancer. In 2011, Sandusky was convicted on 45 counts of child sexual abuse over a 15-year period, against boys from a charity for at-risk Pennsylvania youth that Sandusky had founded himself. Levinson directed and executive produced "You Don't Know Jack", as well as executive produced "Phil Spector".

Paterno, who took over as head coach in 1966, was sacked at Penn State in 2011 after Sandusky, his defensive coordinator, was arrested on 52 counts of child sexual abuse that occurred between 1994 and 2009.

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