Al Pacino as Joe Paterno? Who would play Jerry Sandusky?


Al Pacino, a National Medal of Arts recipient in February, may turn his attention to portraying Joe Paterno in a film. (JASON REED / Reuters)

The Oscar-winning actor is interested in portraying the late Penn State coach, who was fired last November in the wake of the burgeoning child sex-abuse scandal involving his former assistant, Jerry Sandusky. Pacino’s talent agency, ICM, confirmed to Reuters a Deadline.com report that Pacino is looking into a film or television project based on Joe Posnanski’s best-seller, “Paterno,” that is being shopped around Hollywood.

No screenplay has been written and no director attached to the project yet, according to Reuters. Posnanski’s book encompasses the coach’s life from legendary winner to his last months in disgrace after being fired. Paterno died in January at the age of 85.

Playing a coach is nothing new for Pacino, who is 72. In Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday,” he played fictional coach Tony D’Amato and showed that he has the locker-room speech stuff down. (Watch here with earmuffs for profanity.) Nor is portraying a nonfictional character new. Pacino starred as Jack Kevorkian in the HBO film “You Don't Know Jack” and portrays Phil Spector, the record producer and convicted murderer, in an upcoming HBO film.

Setting aside for a moment the question of whether anyone really wants to see a movie about the late Penn State coach and the Sandusky scandal, is Pacino the best choice to play Paterno?

And the bigger question: who would play Sandusky?

Follow us: @CindyBoren | @MattBrooksWP

More

Biography: Paterno “sobbed uncontrollably” after firing

Sandusky awaits sentencing as his lawyer weighs options

Sandusky writing a book?

Sandusky “extremely distraught” over Penn State’s NCAA penalties

Penn State punishment: wins from ’98-’11 vacated, $60 million fine

Sandusky convicted of child sex abuse

Sandusky tells Bob Costas he showered with boys

There’s no joy in Bowdenville

Celebritology: Pacino and Paterno

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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