Oscar-winning actor Al Pacino is continuing his working relationship with HBO and is set to star as former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in an untitled movie from Barry Levinson. Paterno, who was regarded as the best coach in college football history, made headlines in 2011 when he became embroiled in Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. The case challenged his legacy when a report came out stating that Paterno, along with other Penn State officials knew of Sandusky’s actions but never turned him in.
Levinson is set to direct the project and will serve as an executive producer via his Levinson/Fontana banner alongside Jason Sosnoff and Tom Fontana. Edward Pressman and Lindsay Sloane have also signed on to executive produce with Rick Nicita through his RP Media Company. Debora Cahn, John C. Richards, and David McKenna will pen the script. The project will be produced in association with Sony Pictures Television.
The Paterno project marks another collaboration between Pacino and Levinson. The two worked together on previous HBO movies including Jack Kevorkian biopic You Don’t Know Jack, which earned him a Prime Time Emmy as well as his role as the titular music legend Phil Spector, which received an Emmy nom. Pacino’s HBO movie streak also includes his Emmy award-winning turn in the critically acclaimed 2003 mini-series Angels in America.
Pacino can be seen on the big screen in the crime thriller Hangman as well as Martin Scorsese’s forthcoming buzzy The Irishman opposite Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, and Joe Pesci.
He is repped by UTA.
Dino-Ray Ramos | Staff Writer