Al Pacino is one of the greatest living actors ever.
He has been turning in powerhouse performances ever since his iconic role as Michael Corleone in The Godfather.
But it wasn’t until two decades later when he won his first Oscar for playing a blind Lieutenant Colonel in Scent of a Woman.
Now Al Pacino is sure to return in prime form where he will play a pivotal role depicting one of the biggest scandals in NCAA history.
HBO just greenlit the untitled project for the Jerry Sandusky/Penn State scandal that rocked America to its core.
Jerry Sandusky was convicted and sentenced to 30-60 years in 2012 for 45 counts of sexual abuse that also included assaults on young boys.
No – Pacino won’t be portraying the pedophile, Sandusky.
Instead he’ll be playing Penn State’s head coach, Joe Paterno, who allegedly knew for decades about it and disgustingly turned a blind eye.
“Al Pacino will star as former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in a new HBO movie to be directed by Barry Levinson, Variety 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 coach 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.”
Needless to say, Al Pacino will probably relish in playing a role like this because although Paterno didn’t commit any sexual abuse directly, he also did not alert the authorities, which is pretty much just as bad.
But in the end, this guilt must have weighed heavily on him, because he died soon after the scandal broke and his legacy – the amount of wins – was stripped from him.
Paterno died knowing everything he worked towards his entire life was tarnished by Sandusky’s monstrous actions and the controversy surrounding his role in looking the other way.
“The Paterno family commissioned the report to challenge ex-FBI director Louis Freeh’s findings that Paterno played a role in enabling Sandusky.
Perhaps some of the most damning evidence is an email sent Feb. 27, 2001. Then-athletic director Tim Curley sent the email to former University Vice President Gary Schultz, and then-Penn State President Graham Spanier.
The email references an incident where then-graduate assistant Mike McQueary witnessed Sandusky raping a child in the football locker room showers.
Curley wrote, ‘After giving it some thought and talking it over with Joe yesterday — I am uncomfortable with what we agreed were the next steps.
I am having trouble with going to everyone, but the person involved. I think I would be more comfortable meeting with the person and tell him about the information we received.
I would plan to tell him we are aware of the first situation. I would indicate we feel there is a problem and we want to assist the individual to get professional help.
Also, we feel a responsibility at some point soon to inform his organization and [sic] maybe the other one about the situation.
If he is cooperative we would work with him to handle informing the organization. If not, we do not have a choice and will inform the two groups.
Additionally, I will let him know that his guests are not permitted to use our facilities. I need some help on this one. What do you think about this approach?”
This email obviously implies that Paterno knew and was convinced not to go to the authorities.
Hopefully, HBO paints Paterno’s legacy in a disturbing light – because that’s exactly how most will remember him.