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Al Pacino set to star as Joe Paterno in HBO movie, per report

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Report: Pacino to star as Paterno in HBO film

Al Pacino is reportedly in line to star as former Penn State coach Joe Paterno, whose story is being made into a movie for HBO, according to a report

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Barry Levinson will be the executive producer and director for a movie about Penn State's legendary football coach who fell from grace when he became embroiled in the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal.

The film does not yet have a title, according to the trade publication.


Al Pacino, center, who is reportedly in line to star as Joe Paterno in a biopic, previously played fictional football coach Tony D'Amato in "Any Given Sunday." Warner Bros. Pictures/Online USA

Pacino has been nominated for eight Academy Awards and won best actor in 1993 for "Scent of A Woman." He won an Emmy Award for "You Don't Know Jack" in 2010, also an HBO project.

Levinson won the Academy Award as best director in 1989 for "Rain Man."

Paterno was the head coach at Penn State from 1966 to 2011, during which time he became the winningest coach in college football history. He was fired in 2011 in the fallout over the scandal involving longtime assistant Sandusky, who was arrested that same year and charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse of young boys. In 2012, Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts and is serving a 30- to 60-year prison term for abusing 10 boys. Sandusky is appealing the case.

The scandal led to Paterno's firing in November 2011, and he died of cancer two months later at the age of 85.

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If this movie has to be made, unless he adamantly turned down the role, why not  cast Joe Pesci as Paterno? Since the late 80s it always seemed like Paterno was the role Pesci was born to play.

I was also on board for Dustin Hoffman to play Bernie Madoff over De Niro (strictly based on the looks department)

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