Seven years ago, Al Pacino and director Barry Levinson collaborated on the HBO TV movie, You Don’t Know Jack, with Pacino in the lead as suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian. Now, Pacino and Levinson are set to reunite for another controversial HBO biopic about former Penn State football coach, Joe Paterno.
According to Deadline, the long-delayed and currently untitled TV movie has officially gotten the greenlight from HBO. Scarface director Brian De Palma was originally slated to reunite with Pacino on the project, but he dropped out of the project in 2014. The film will focus on Paterno’s dueling legacies as the most successful coach in college football history and his alleged part in covering up the sexual abuse scandal of his former associate, Jerry Sandusky. The script was written by Debora Cahn, John C. Richards, and David McKenna; and the story will follow Paterno as he is forced to defend himself on charges that he did little or nothing to prevent Sandusky from abusing children once he became aware of what was happening. Paterno was eventually forced to step down as head coach, and he died from cancer two months afterwards.
Before the movie was delayed by HBO, John Carroll Lynch was slated to play Sandusky. However, it’s not currently known if Lynch is still attached to the project and Pacino is the only confirmed actor at this time. Pacino has a long history at HBO that includes the event miniseries, Angels in America, as well as the Phil Spector biopic in the title role. HBO has not announced a premiere date for his latest film.
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