Paterno was the winningest coach in college football history when he became embroiled in Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, which challenged his legacy and forced him to face questions of institutional failure on behalf of the victims.
Kathy Baker and Greg Grunberg will play Paterno’s wife and son, respectively, while Parisse will play his daughter, Mary Kay Paterno.
Riley Keough will also co-star as Sara Ganim, the 23 year-old journalist who first reported on the Sandusky case, bringing it to the attention of the Happy Valley community and the national media. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her reporting.
In association with Sony Pictures Television, HBO Films has made a production commitment to the Paterno project, which Oscar winner Barry Levinson is directing from a script by Debora Cahn, John C. Richards and David McKenna.
Levinson and Tom Fontana are also executive producing alongside Jason Sosnoff, Ed Pressman, Rick Nicita and Lindsay Sloane.
Parisse, who will soon be seen in the upcoming Netflix series Friends from College, previously worked with Levinson on the 2008 movie What Just Happened. She’s represented by Gersh and Door 24.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief