Al Pacino to play Penn State coach Joe Paterno in biopic


Al Pacino is attached to play disgraced Penn State coach Joe Paterno in an upcoming biopic. Based on the recent biography Paterno by Joe Posnanski, the film currently has no screenplay or director.

Paterno was once the winningest coach in college football, but his legacy was tarnished by the Jerry Sandusky child abuse and child rape scandal. It was one of those news stories you couldn’t ignore. The end of Paterno’s life was defined by his moral failure given what he knew about Sandusky. He passed away in January. In June, Sandusky was found guilty of 45 of 48 charges. He currently awaits sentencing. In July, the NCAA stripped Pateno of 111 wins, making him the 12th winningest college football coach.

Mike Fleming over at Deadline says he’s received many emails about this Paterno biopic from Penn State alumni. Some said they have pull in Hollywood and want to stop the project from being made, others defended JoePa. While it’s true that Paterno did the bare minimum of what he was legally required to do, this is one of those cases where nobody should get a pass for only doing the bare minimum. I can understand questioning the timing of the project, though.

[Via Deadline]

Hubert Vigilla
Brooklyn-based fiction writer, film critic, and long-time editor and contributor for Flixist. A booster of all things passionate and idiosyncratic.