Al Pacino is Joe Paterno in Biopic Including Penn State Sex Scandal
by Ben Pearson
September 7, 2012
Too soon? It seems that when every major media figure passes away, a movie about him or her isn't too far off. It happened with Ray Charles, it's happening with Steve Jobs, and now it's happening with the late Joe Paterno, former head football coach of Penn State who was the winningest coach of all time before many of his wins were stripped away following assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's sex scandal with young boys. Deadline has the report, which says that Al Pacino will star as Paterno in the project, which will be based on Joe Posnanski’s biography of the late coach that's become a New York Times best-selling book. Read on!
This is still a hot-button issue in America, so it will be very interesting to see how the yet-to-be-determined filmmakers will handle Paterno's role in Sandusky's sickening activities. In real life, Paterno used his influence to convince Penn State officials not to call the authorities when a graduate assistant reported Sandusky raping a boy in the shower to Paterno instead of the police. When this was discovered in a 2011 federal investigation, Paterno was fired and died shortly afterwards, after coaching the program for 45 years and becoming one of the most famous figures in college sports in the process.
The film will also concentrate on Paterno's life before the scandal, depicting how he built the Penn State football program from essentially nothing into a powerhouse team in the 1980s. The progress on this production is all in very early dealmaking stages, but with subject matter this controversial, it's likely that this will find financing and a filmmaking squad very quickly. Considering Paterno's recent death, is it tactful to harp on JoePa's involvement in the Sandusky scandal so soon? That may be left for audiences to decide.