NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Al Pacino, best known for his roles in Scarface and the Godfather series, is set to play Joe Paterno in a movie being shopped around Hollywood, according to Deadline.com.
Paterno’s legacy has been tarnished by his alleged role in the Jerry Sandusky child sexual abuse scandal. The former Penn State football coach, who died in January, had his statue removed from outside Beaver Stadium after a damaging report by former FBI director Louis Freeh accused him — and other high-ranking PSU officials — of covering up Sandusky’s actions to protect the university from bad publicity.
The film will be based on “Paterno,” the best-selling biography by sportswriter Joe Posnanski, Deadline.com reported.
Posnanski told WFAN’s Mike Francesa last month that writing his book during the massive Penn State sex scandal was both “a blessing and a curse.” He found that after the book’s completion, the question that begged to be answered was “Why? Why didn’t (Paterno) follow up? Why did he respond the way he responded?”
Pacino, a New York City native, received high marks for his role as football coach Tony D’Amato in Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday.” He’d reportedly play the Brooklyn-born Paterno, while his manager, Rick Nicita, would produce the film, according to Deadline.com.
There’s currently no deal, script or director for the movie, Deadline.com reported. But Pacino plus the Penn State mega-scandal could equal tons of interest — not to mention controversy.
“Rarely have I gotten so many emails on a story that has struck a nerve among former students of Penn State,” Deadline.com reporter Mike Fleming wrote in an update to his original story, adding some self-proclaimed linked-in alums have threatened to “squash” the film.
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