Here's The First Look At Al Pacino Playing Joe Paterno


Here's The First Look At Al Pacino Playing Joe Paterno

According to Entertainment Weekly, the synopsis for the film reveals that the story will follow he longtime Nittany Lions coach as he "becomes 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 victim".

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.

Ultimately in 2012, Sandusky was found guilty of 45 charges of sexual abuse and sentenced to 60 years in prison.

The once college football powerhouse Penn State also received a harsh punishment as the NCAA sanctioned the university with: a $60 million fine, ban from bowl games and post-season play for four years, reduction of scholarships from 25 to 15, vacating of all wins from 1998 to 2011, and a five-year probation period.

HBOPacino as Paterno
HBOPacino as Paterno

Paterno died in early 2012 of complications from lung cancer. The first-look photo shows Pacino wearing glasses and sporting Penn State coaching jacket.

The Paterno project is Pacino's fourth HBO project, after "Angels in America" (2003), "You Don't Know Jack" (2010) and "Phil Spector" (2013). Pacino won Emmy and Golden Globe awards for his role as Dr. Jack Kevorkian.

The Oscar-winning Pacino has played a football coach before, in Oliver Stone's 1999 drama "Any Given Sunday", though that character was a fictional one.

Meanwhile, Levinson will serve as both director and executive producer of the upcoming project.