First Look: Al Pacino As Joe Paterno, Penn State Coach In Barry Levinson’s HBO Drama

Marcell Rév/HBO

Here’s a first-look picture of Al Pacino as Joe Paterno, the fallen Penn State football coach who’s the focus of HBO Films’ upcoming Barry Levinson-directed drama. The untitled project is currently in production. (See below for a side-by-side comparison.)

“The film centers on Joe Paterno, who, after becoming the winningest coach in college football history, is embroiled in Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, challenging his legacy and forcing him to face questions of institutional failure regarding the victims,” says HBO.

Here’s the side-by-side. Pretty close, right?


Paterno, who died in 2012, was dismissed by Penn State the previous year in the wake of the Sandusky child sex abuse revelations. The film was written by Debora Cahn and John C. Richards and David McKenna.

The HBO project is being executive produced by Levinson, Jason Sosnoff, Tom Fontana, Edward R. Pressman, Rick Nicita and Lindsay Sloane, and procuded by Amy Herman. The project is in association with Sony Pictures Television.

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