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HBO Unveils First Look of Al Pacino as Joe Paterno

by on July 16, 2017 3:25 PM

HBO on Sunday released a first look photo of Al Pacino in character as Joe Paterno on the set of the upcoming film about the former Penn State football coach.

The film, which does not yet have a title is being directed by Barry Levinson. The official logline of the movie 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.”

Filming is reportedly taking place through September in New York City. 

Other cast members include Kathy Baker as Paterno's wife, Sue; Greg Grunberg as Scott Paterno, one of Joe and Sue Paterno's three sons; and Annie Parisse as Mary Kay Paterno, one of their two daughters.

Riley Keough is playing former Harrisburg Patriot-News reporter Sara Ganim, who in 2011 was the first to report on a grand jury's investigation of Sandusky for allegations of child sexual abuse. Sandusky was convicted in 2012 on 48 counts related to child sexual abuse.

In early June, it was reported that HBO had given the green-light to a new, as yet untitled film starring Pacino as Paterno, with Barry Levinson attached to direct. 

Pacino was announced in late 2012 to star as Paterno in a film based on the Joe Posnanski biography "Paterno," but in late 2014 HBO announced it was suspending the project because of budget issues.

Screenwriter David McKenna, who was working on the project in 2012 and who has penned films including "American History X," is one of three reported screenwriters on the new project, along with Debora Cahn ("Grey's Anatomy," "The West Wing") and John C. Richards ("Sahara, Nurse Betty"). 

Photo by Marcell Rév/HBO

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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