Here’s Your First Look At Al Pacino As Joe Paterno

  • Rick Chandler

Joe Paterno

Uncanny, ain’t it? Actually, that’s Paterno himself in the photo above — Pacino as Paterno is below, as HBO has released the first image from its upcoming movie, Happy Valley, centering on the former Penn State football coach.

Pacino has made his living portraying heroes and heels, but usually not at the same time. After a 46-year career coaching football for the Nittany Lions, Paterno crashed and burned in 2011 when he was fired in connection with the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case.

Sandusky, the longtime Penn State defensive coordinator, was arrested on 52 counts of child sexual abuse that occurred between 1994 and 2009. It was soon determined by Penn State authorities that Paterno was made aware of Sandusky’s crimes as far back as the 1990s — and possibly even the 1970s — and did nothing about them. He died in 2012 at the age of 85 following complications from lung cancer.

Barry Levinson will direct the movie that is sure to open fresh wounds in the community and beyond, where Paterno supporters are still legion. No word yet on who will play Sandusky. Jock McKissic (24: Legacy) is also in it, according to IMDB.

I just want to see a re-imagining of the the Paterno statue with Pacino’s features.