Al Pacino and Brian De Palma to Make Penn State Coach Joe Paterno Movie

The team that brought us the classic mob film Scarface, Al Pacino and director Brian De Palma, are teaming bsck up to make a movie about Penn State Coach Joe Paterno. The working title for the film is Happy Valley, and it will be based on the book Paterno by Joe Posnanski. Pacino will star in the film and De Palma will direct. Edward R. Pressman is producing the film, and this is what he had to say in a statement,

Happy Valley reunites the Scarface and Carlito’s Way team of De Palma & Pacino for the third time and I can’t think of a better duo to tell this story of a complex, intensely righteous man who was brought down by his own tragic flaw.

As you know Paterno’s legend was undone when it was revealed that he and several others in the football program were aware that former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was molesting children, and they really didn't do anything to stop it, for fear of bad publicity. Paterno was eventually fired, and his football program was crushed. The university ended up tearing down the statue of Paterno on campus, and the NCAA stripped the coach’s wins going back to the coverup. 

They don't say what the film will cover, but I imagine the movie will focus on the most current ugly events of Paterno's life up until his death. This is a great team of movie talent, and I have no doubt they'll bring us a great film. Here's the synopsis of the book....

Joe Posnanski’s biography of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno follows in the tradition of works by Richard Ben Cramer on Joe DiMaggio and David Maraniss on Vince Lombardi. Having gained unprecedented access to Paterno, as well as the coach’s personal notes and files, Posnanski spent the last two years of Paterno’s life covering the coach, on (and off) the field and through the scandal that ended Paterno’s legendary career.

Joe Posnanski, who in 2012 was named the Best Sportswriter in America by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, was with Paterno and his family as a horrific national scandal unfolded and Paterno was fired. Within three months, Paterno died of lung cancer, a tragic end to a life that was epic, influential, and operatic. 

Paterno is the fullest description we will ever have of the man’s character and career. In this honest and surprising portrait, Joe Posnanski brings new insight and understanding to one of the most controversial figures in America.

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