Back in Sept. of 2012, it was reported that Al Pacino would take on the role of Joe Paterno in a film based on Joe Posnanski‘s best-selling book “Paterno,” which was penned around the time the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal exploded on the State College campus. Nearly five years later, the Academy-Award winning actor’s name is again attached to a Paterno-related movie project.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, “Pacino is set to star [as Paterno] in the project, with Barry Levinson attached to direct and exec produce.” There was no mention of Posnanski or his book being connected to this HBO-produced film.
The showbiz website offered further details as to the makeup of the production team:
Debora Cahn (Grey’s Anatomy, The West Wing), John C. Richards (Sahara, Nurse Betty) and David McKenna (S.W.A.T., American History X) will pen the script. Levinson will exec produce with his producing partners at Levinson/Fontana, Tom Fontana and Jason Sosnoff, in addition to Ed Pressman, Rick Nicita and Lindsay Sloane. HBO will produce the film in association with Sony Pictures Television.
It’s expected the film, which is currently untitled and has no even general release date, will be centered around the Sandusky scandal that led to Paterno’s firing and, just recently, three former high-ranking Penn State administrators sentenced to jail time for their failures. Paterno passed away just over two months after his dismissal following a short battle with cancer.