Al Pacino attached to play Joe Paterno
September 10th, 2012
11:46 AM ET

Al Pacino attached to play Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno's legacy may soon unfold on film.

Deadline Hollywood reports that a biopic of the late Penn State football coach is in the works, with Al Pacino attached to star as JoePa. The beloved sports figure died in January at 85 following his exit from the football program in November, 2011 amidst a child sexual abuse scandal.

The film, to be produced by Pacino's manager, Rick Nicita, will be based on the best-selling biography from sportswriter Joe Posnanski, "Paterno." Deadline suspects the film's arc will include the controversy that led to Paterno's dismissal, but notes that the movie would focus on much more than that.

As patterned after Posnanski's book, the project is expected to highlight Paterno's family, his pre-Penn State life as well as the impact he made at the university.

However, much needs to happen before the film could be viewed as a sure thing: No deal's in place, there isn't a script, and the project doesn't yet have a director attached to helm.

Filed under: Celebrities • movies

soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. all hang out...

    al lets it out all the time that's why he can perform so well, its out all the time...

    September 12, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  2. kevgood

    good lord. isn't it a little early for a tasteless comedy lol

    September 12, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  3. WCTC Proface#132

    its a really tough part to play -

    September 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Not sure..ahh.

    i heard the victims have agreed to partcipate and are getting paid

    September 11, 2012 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • ah...

      You may be right about that. Well, if that's the case, more power to them. It just seems odd that they would want to rehash the whole terrible ordeal, especially in a movie. I just hope the victims can heal from their horrific ordeal.

      September 11, 2012 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • you right ah....

      however they are receiving a paycheck and with all the dysfunction they have been will see more and more of them interviewing–

      September 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ah...

    I always thought Joe Pa was a great coach. He had a great connection to his players. Will we ever know the extent of his knowledge of Sandusky's horrific child abuse? Probably not. I think this movie is a bad idea. No matter what the actual truth is on his part in this scandel, the damage is already done to his memory. They should just leave it alone. I, for one, would never watch this movie. I would think Sandusky's victims probably wish this would now just go away. They have to live with what was done to them everyday. Why throw it back in their faces again?

    September 11, 2012 at 9:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. yea sorta kinda..

    i could see that also

    September 11, 2012 at 9:32 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rob J

    I can see Sean Penn at Paterno, more so than Pacino.

    September 11, 2012 at 9:30 am | Report abuse |
  8. PacinoPraise...

    i am simply excited to see how he acts on this project...

    September 11, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  9. Richard Fore


    September 11, 2012 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Pacino....

    can't wait for the "production" ..... home .....

    September 10, 2012 at 10:43 pm | Report abuse |
  11. More Gay Culture Exposé Movies!


    Go for it Al!

    September 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm | Report abuse |
  12. dhw

    you are tagged into look like a you not understand.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. DHW

    you went to security.. don't walk proud.

    September 10, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  14. your just and unmadeup bore.


    September 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  15. your a boring go away

    September 10, 2012 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  16. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    Gary Busey would be a great Gerry Sandusky. Who cares about Paterno? Sandusky will sell tickets.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kane

      They should strive for realism and actually have kids in the shower naked with him, for the sake of accuracy...

      September 11, 2012 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  17. WCCT

    It's been done already! Sanduskyface!


    September 10, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  18. JR

    Hey " Standing up for the Truth". Why don't you sit down and give your head a shake.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  19. J.J. Bugs

    Here are the stars they are considering for the role of Sandusky –

    September 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  20. lindaluttrell

    Big Pacino fan! However, I have to wonder how truthful this project will be towards the end of Paterno's career...we all know how the story ended...much admired coach/secret pedophile enabler! However, it would be interesting to see who would accept the role (Sandusky) of one of the most hated men in American right now. No one comes immediately to mind for me...but the suggestion that Ron Perlman could pull it off is on the money.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      See Dylan Baker's performance in Happiness. He could definitely play Sandusky. Although, his character in Happiness was also a pedo. But Dylan has the ability to play those really off the beaten path, unlikeable characters.

      Ted Levine would work too.

      September 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  21. nolongerarepublican

    They can call the movie "Risky Business II"

    September 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Pamela Smith

    Al Pacino is my all time favorite actor. He is so talented that he actually 'becomes' his character. I first loved him as Serpico and he will be perfect as Paterno. I'm so excited!!

    September 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Jamie

    So he wants to portray a man involved with a child molestation case. Get a life Pacino and refuse the part.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim, San Antonio

      My God Jamie, he's an ACTOR!!! He's not condoning molestation!

      September 10, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Poolchick

      Wow Jamie, it's a movie and he's an actor. He has to make a living too. As far as him getting a life, pretty sure his life is fullfilled than most people including yours.

      September 10, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  24. GaPeach

    I love Al Pacino but I don't see him in this role, unless it is only about him as a coach and not witnessing a child being molested. I don't see how they could work that scene in and justify Pacino not witnessing it.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • AmbridgeAreaPride

      No where in this whole scandal has it ever been mentioned that Joe Paterno witnessed a chile being molested. GaPeach, you are a prime example of how people hear only part of a news headline and let their imaginations run wild. We can debate about what WAS and what WAS NOT ever reported to Coach Paterno – and that would be fair. But again, to come out and say Joe Paterno witnessed a child assult is just a lie.

      September 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  25. hartshwk

    This is not the right movie. The movie should be about the disappearance of Ray Gricar. John Grisham should do the screen play. Joe Pesci should play Paterno.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  26. PERFECT!

    And they'll call the film: CRUISING II.

    September 10, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  27. creative36

    Al played Dr. Death. Now he's playing a Pedophile. He has slid very far in his career. Hasn't he?

    September 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • jackson

      He rose to fame playing a mobster in The Godfather. Early in his career, he also played a bank robber in Dog Day Afternoon.

      So, no, his career hasn't slid. He is still getting work, and still getting attention, and still doing amazing work.

      Why, in your little pea brain mind, does the character you are portraying define how well your career is going?

      September 11, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Standing Up For the Truth

    Kudos to Rick Nicita and Al Pacino who want to set the story straight on the quality man Joe Paterno was. Imagine the earth shattering impact this movie can have if Rick and Al portray the truth of how the media, NCAA, Governor Corbett, and the PSU Board of Trustees used JVP as the fallguy in the Sandusky Scandal. Al Pacino is perfect for this role!

    September 10, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  29. maria

    I will always remember this man (Joe Paterno) because the child molester that he didn't reveal to the authorities ,he has been smudged for ever and I think a movie about him should not be made not matter what he did for the team he died in the peack of the scandal and all because he was not "man enough" to stop the terrible tragedy...who cares about Joe Paterno? thanks goodness his statue is not more there ,just bad memories .! Iwonder if his son is writing a book about him too.......what a WASTE!

    September 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  30. nolongerarepublican

    A movie about pedophiles, and those who support, and cover up for child mostestors
    Keep your kids away from the theater.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Ima Mused

    "WOW, I really can't wait to see this movie," said no one, ever.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Michael

    Al, you need to fire your agent!! This is a BAD BAD move! It's one thing to play the villain because you want the whole world and everything in it, but this is a role you just don't need! Think it over and get back to me OK?

    September 10, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  33. JR of White Bear Lake MN

    Let Joe rest in peace.... No matter how hard you try you will end up with a sad movie, with a predictably itcy ending that nobody really wants to see. Lets wait 15 years and let things settle down. Tom Cruise can play the part. Thats what he'll look like then.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Report abuse |
  34. Lefty

    "What ya do is, ya get a roll of ones. Then ya wrap a bean around the the outside, see? Nobody knows nothin."

    September 10, 2012 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  35. Pete

    Hoohaa! I didn't see no little boys' hoohaas directly so I ain't reportin' anyone!

    September 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  36. frit frat

    ...and his movie acting debut.....Barney Frank as Gerry Sandusky.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Report abuse |
  37. PacinoPraise

    he produces good quality movies, he picks good quality roles. Dog Day Afternoon still scares the h-ll out of me.

    September 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  38. AceGirlsHusband

    I wonder who they'll snooker into playing Jerry Sandusky? Heck, would anyone WANT to play Sandusky?

    September 10, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • WDinDallas

      Bill Maher

      September 10, 2012 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buck

      Ron Perlman could pull it off if he wanted the part.

      September 10, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Observer@AcegirlsHubby

      I am thinking Anderson Cooper would play a FINE Sandusky.

      September 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • TC Williams

      Bruno Gans played Hitler. Other actors have played numerous other reviled fictional and non-fictional characters. They'll find someone to play Sandusky.

      September 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Me

    If it's an Al Pacino movie I am watching it, awesome actor..

    September 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Socrates

    Why Pacino wants to produce this movie? What a waste of time and money. I am not interested at all.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
  41. ekl49ers

    Does anyone else think that making this movie is an absolute horrible idea? They can either ignore the fact that he had an idea of what was going on and people are going to go nuts, or they can include it and show that he knew what was going on which will also result in people going nuts.

    Perhaps, in this case, Hollywood might just want to leave this one alone.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  42. PacinoPraise

    JoeP. looks like Joe Paterno, in terms of the acting its has to go to Pacino. He will knock it right out of the ballpark.
    he's probably prepared.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  43. PacinoPraise...

    only 1 thing is on my mind...Pacino and how he's going to work this part and i will be in the front row.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
  44. your a bore


    September 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  45. PacinoPraise

    talk about great acting..i hear he picks and chooses what parts he wants he wants to play for years...he doesn't audition and is barely directed now. he shows up, 60 pages of dialogue memorized and ready to go. what a professional.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buck

      If he so carefully chooses his parts, please explain to me why he thought starring in Jack and Jill was a great idea?

      September 10, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  46. Observer

    I would suggest Sean Hayes, since I know for a fact that dear Joepa participated in these little escapades.

    The only answer: Pave over Happy Valley and turn it into a nice WalMart parking lot. Not just the stadium, but the whole university. Oh, and while we're at it: Invalidate ALL degrees granted under the Joepa era. Think that may get some attention?

    September 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • TL

      You are insane.
      Evil was done and the terrible, disgusting man responsible will be punished. To infer Paterno was involved with absolutely no facts to back up such an allegation is foolish and vile.
      And to punish graduates? Again, only one word: insane.

      September 10, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Chicago

    Not even slightly interested in seeing a movie about Paterno, even with the ironic twist or an actor of Pacino's caliber involved.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
  48. Phil

    All you people who say you won't watch it will be the first ones on line at the movie theatre when it comes out

    September 10, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  49. ProperVillain

    Yes, by all means, lets give someone who shielded and enabled a child r a p i s t a movie. While we are at it let's make a movie that fondly recalls those fun times that H i t l e r must have had in 1940's Germany. Good times, good times....

    September 10, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |

      There is no script or deal yet, d u m m y. You have no idea what the story is going to be like.

      September 10, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |

    Joe Pesci would be a dead ringer to play Paterno!

    September 10, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • JIMBOB

      Another vote for Joe Pesci!! How could they go with anyone else?

      September 10, 2012 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  51. PacinoPraise

    i have seen all of Pacino's movies and have seen him off broadway many times...Pacino always picks the most difficult parts to play . he's in his 70's and he still challenges himself as actor. he is truly one of the greats in acting.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Scott

    Paterno was a great man and an inspiration. He made an indelible positive impact in the lives of literally thousands of people. He was generous with his time and money – donating millions of dollars to the university library. He was the scapegoat in this tragedy. There is not one shred of real evidence against him – all there is is inuendo from the flawed and incomplete Freeh report. We all now have the benefit of 20-20 hindsight, and are horrified at the scope of Sandusky's crimes. All you people spouting this crap have no idea what really happened, but someone has to be responsible and since he is the face of the university, it must have been his fault.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |

      Sorry, but for as many people he inspired or helped in his career, his negligence on this matter negates his legacy at Penn State. For you, or JP's family for that matter, to question the validity and veracity of the (initial) investigation headed by a former FBI Director, looks sorta pathetic...

      September 10, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  53. BCHitman

    Do we really need a movie about this? Whomever I idea it is to make a a movie about this is just as sick as Paterno.

    September 10, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  54. Paul

    You think Al Pacino will scream out "SAY HELLO TO MY LIL' FRIEND!" in this movie?

    September 10, 2012 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  55. Jay

    Let Stevie Wonder play him, seeing how JoePa was totally blind to child anal rape in Penn State showers, spanning over the course of decades..

    September 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  56. MADDEN


    September 10, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  57. Jay

    A Movie? GTFOH, they should dig his up and bury him upside down with his exposed to the elements just like he left those poor little kids a.sses exposed to sandusky's 'element". If there is a movie let Pee Wee herman play joepa.

    September 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  58. Clete

    This project seems to be a long, long way to actually making it to the screen. No script, no director, no financing in place. The only thing they seem to have is a half-hearted committment from Al Pacino.

    September 10, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Lizzie's Mom

    Sorry but I don't think they should be making a movie about a bad man who concealed crimes against children just to win football games.

    September 10, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  60. lani

    Pacino is a DECENT choice..

    September 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Report abuse |
  61. open400

    No one really cares about those kids that were tragically victimized. This whole thing was about money – lawyers getting big bucks. Think I am wrong? The boy that was alleged to be victimized in the shower that was reported to Paterno. That same person later went to Sandusky's and said "nothing happened." That same person did not testify against Sandusky in the criminal trial. Now this same person has his lawyer.
    We have 15 million children living in poverty in America. Our invasion of Iraq looking for bogus weapons of mass destruction killed thousands of children. Let’s quit with the phony compassion for the these victims. This whole thing is about money – money for lawyers.

    September 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  62. upstateny

    I can't believe they are even making a movie about Joe Paterno. Count me out no matter who they choose to play him. Will Paterno's family, victims or school be receiving any money from this film?

    September 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Goodfella

    Pacino's not a BAD choice, but come on! Only Joe Pesci can truly pull it off.

    September 10, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  64. Troll #162

    If you are looking for a loss to write off for your taxes, this film would be a worth while investment.

    September 10, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |

    it better show Joe ignoring all the evils in order to win some football games. It also better show Joe walking into every business in town and expecting free stuff because the freeloader never paid a red cent in State College. It also better show him eating babies and kicking puppies.

    September 10, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Loare Poface'

      The question that I never found out the answer is: was Sandusky that good of a coach that everyone would look the other way to protect? Normally in America, most people don't respond to pedophiles that well. Nobody could be that much of an asset that the'd overlook that as a personality hiccup.

      September 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jayhsee

      Your stupidity amazes me.

      September 10, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |

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