Al Pacino to Star as Penn State Coach Joe Paterno in New HBO Movie From Barry Levinson

Al Pacino Joe Paterno

Al Pacino will star as former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in a new HBO movie to be directed by Barry LevinsonVariety has learned.

The official logline for the film reads: “After becoming the winningest coach in college football history, Joe Paterno is embroiled in Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, challenging his legacy and forcing him to face questions of institutional failure on behalf of the victims.”

Paterno, often referred to as JoePa, is widely regarded as one of the best college football coaches of all time. However, his career came to a sudden halt in 2011 when assistant coach Sandusky’s crimes came to light, with a 2012 report concluding that Paterno and other Penn State officials were aware of Sandusky’s actions but chose to look the other way.

Levinson will direct and executive produce through his Levinson/Fontana banner, with Jason Sosnoff and Tom Fontana also executive producing. Edward Pressman and Linday Sloane will also executive produce, along with Rick Nicita through his RP Media Company. Debora Cahn, John C. Richards, and David McKenna will write. The film will be produced in association with Sony Pictures Television.

The currently untitled Paterno film marks Pacino’s latest in a string of HBO projects, along with the Jack Kevorkian biopic “You Don’t Know Jack,” “Phil Spector,” which followed the murder trial of the music business legend, and the mini-series “Angels in America.” Levinson directed and executive produced “You Don’t Know Jack,” as well as executive produced “Phil Spector.” The pair also collaborated on the 2014 film “The Humbling.”

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  1. MovieBabble says:

    This is certain to polarize people (judging by the comments it already has) but I’ll definitely give it a watch out of pure fascination.

  2. Is there any part that Pacino cannot play? I went to see The Godfather in the theater tonight. What a brilliant part.

  3. Unknown says:

    I hope this film isn’t based on that fraudulent & misguided investigated report from that crooked former & retired FBI Director who was out to make name for himself. That report has already been claimed as greatly misguided & inaccurate on Paterno’s circumstances. PSU & the NCAA have begun detracting any penalties against Paterno & his legacy. Paterno didn’t deserve the bad rep he got in the whole matter.

    I hope the film does its research & give Paterno the proper respect & truth about his overall fantastic legacy.

  4. Return the statue of Joe Paterno to PS erect adjacent statue of a 12 yr old boy looking up at Joe P with inscription”Say it ain’t so JoePa”.

  5. Kenny junod says:

    Joe pa should be in jail

    • Reality to the rescue says:

      He wouldn’t be charged if alive. His job as a coach, that didn’t see it, was to report what he’d been told by an assistant coach to his superiors. This is the same policy at all schools.

      He did that, then it was up to them to decide what to do with it.

      Setting aside that he’s dead and was cleared before death, he wouldn’t even be charged if alive. The only people saying otherwise are either ignorant know-nothing knuckle draggers that sound like extras in the movie idiocracy, or they are fans of rival schools to PSU.

  6. Nick says:

    Already see the mouth breathers coming out of the woodwork.
    “he coached football good”… Is apparently all some “people” nees to defend a guy who allowed RAPE to occur at his school
    Facts are facts and no one had more power and influence then this “man” at the school.

    • Catalacjack says:

      Nick he didn’t allow anything to happen. Do me a favor, and do a little research before you comment, and don’t always believe what you read in the news. Have you not learned that the media always has an agenda?

    • Eric Folmar says:

      Man you gotta read up on the facts. He has told of “inappropriate activity” he knew nothing about rape. He did what he was supposed to do. Hell he even fired Sandusky. It wasn’t up to him to allow or deny him use of the locker rooms. That was the ad.

      • catalacjack says:

        Eric the truth is he didn’t fire Sandusky, because Sandusky had retired, and was given Emeritus status by Erickson the vice President of PSU, so Joe had no say in what Sandusky did. Joe did not want Sandusky to have the right to bring kids onto the football facilities because of increased insurance costs. However, Erickson vetoed Joe’s objection, so that puts to rest the notion that everyone had, that Joe ran Penn State, heck he couldn’t even control who had access to the football facilities. Since this has happened many people have been getting records released through the right to know act, and have been pouring through the tens of thousands of pages. We have found out that NCAA head Emmert knew that the NCAA had no jurisdiction in imposing fines or sanctions against Penn State, but decided to bluff Erickson (see he shows up again) into accepting the sanctions. That is the true reason why the sanctions were removed early. Through the released records we found out that Freeh lied numerous times in his report, and that most of it was his opinions. This is why in a news conference he backed away from the veracity of his report by saying that it was nothing more than his opinions.

    • Reality to the rescue says:

      The only mouth breathers here are idiots like you talking about your opinion like they’re facts.

      He reported the rape when told. He didn’t allow anything. That was the decision of the three just convicted of misdemeanors.

      The facts are he followed the law. Nobody had more power and influence? He was fired.

  7. FreehLies says:

    Oh boy, a movie based on a report made by an FBI director who fabricated evidence to get convictions and which sanctions were based on and then overturned once the law suits started flowing. Great. Seems legit. /s

  8. Jonathan says:

    “Paterno, often referred to as JoePa, is widely regarded as the best college football coach of all time.” Really? By whom? While Paterno is in the top tier of historically great coaches, “the best … of all time” appellation goes to either Paul “Bear” Bryant or Nick Saban, depending on what Saban does in the next few years. Your claim is factually incorrect; please issue a correction.

    • Reality to the rescue says:

      He’s the winningest coach in major college football history. He’s absolutely one of the best coaches of all time.

      • john says:

        Joe Paterno ” Nobody has ever done or ever will do what EDDIE ROBINSON has done for the game… Our profession will never , ever be able to repay Eddie Robinson for what he has done for the country and the profession of football.
        joepa 409-136-3
        E. R. 397-143-15
        B.B. 323-85-17
        Best coach Eddie Robinson #2 not mention such a shame

    • Nick says:

      “one of the….”
      chill out there SEC boy. No one is taking the one thing the State of Alabama has to be proud of away

      • Jonathan says:

        Alabama shouldn’t be proud of the Civil Rights Movement – Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Shuttlesworth and so many more? The Huntsville space flight center? Helen Keller and her disabled advocacy? Stop being bigoted toward a region of the country you clearly know nothing about.

      • kmsatx71 says:

        nick1 Pretty funny… and true re college coaching. Actually it is tough to beat Bryant and Saban. Great legacy there-

  9. alli says:

    Sexual sexting pervert, Anthony Weiner, husband of Hillarys chief aid, Uma, should have a movie too. NYC Democrat Mayor de Blasio’s aid, Jacob Schwartz accused of child pornography, sexual pervert Elliot Spitzer, all Jews, all Democrats, all sexual deviants. Will Levinson, also a Jew, make a movie on these pervs?

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