Update: Brian De Palma to Direct Al Pacino in Film About the Life of Joe Paterno

Update: Brian De Palma to Direct Al Pacino in Film About the Life of Joe Paterno

Jan 16, 2013

Update: As first reported months ago, Al Pacino was trying to put together a movie about the life of Penn State University football coach Joe Paterno. At the time it was just a hypothetical project without a script or a director, but now Deadline tells us it's gotten considerably more real: Brian De Palma will direct the film, temporarily titled Happy Valley.

Of course, the Scarface reunion of Pacino and De Palma is already intriguing enough, but Deadline also reports that American History X scribe Dave McKenna is in talks to write the script, based on Joe Posnanski's biography of the late icon. Combine all those ingredients together and this is starting to sound like it could be a damned fine film about a man's fall from grace.


Previously: It had to happen at some point. The controversy surrounding Penn State University's cover-up of former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky's molestation of underage boys is one of the biggest media stories in years, which meant that a movie adaptation wasn't a question of if, but when. Next week a production package for a film about the life of Joe Paterno, who was the head coach of the football program during the time of Sandusky's crimes, will be shopped around Hollywood. And as if the hot topic nature of it already wouldn't make it a hot enough property, Al Pacino is attached to star as Paterno.

We don't yet know if any directors or writers are attached to the project as well, but we do know it'll be based on sports journalist Joe Posnanski's biography, titled simply Paterno. And while the tragic Sandusky chapter of Paterno's life will no doubt play a huge part of the movie, Posnanski's bestseller isn't exclusively about the controversy. It covers Paterno's entire life and his rise to become a phenomenally successful and beloved college football coach.

So, what do you think about all of this? Do you want to watch a movie about the life of Joe Paterno? And if so, is Al Pacino a good pick? For his part, Pacino is no stranger to taking on unpopular, real-world figures. He's incredible as Jack Kevorkian in the fantastic HBO movie You Don't Know Jack, but even Dr. Death might be a less controversial figure than Paterno at this point, so we're curious to see how people react to the casting.

Follow along on Twitter: @PeterSHall and @Moviesdotcom.

Categories: In Development, News
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