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Al Pacino May Head Joe Paterno Biopic

Joe Paterno, Al Pacino
Rick Stewart/Allsport, Getty Images

The wounds may not be healed, but as the biography ‘Paterno’ is currently a best seller, it’s no surprise that people are trying to put together a biographical picture about Penn State football coach Joe Paterno. Currently Al Pacino is attached to star – though it seems more likely to end up an HBO movie than a theatrical one.

Whatever one thinks about the project, whatever one thinks of Paterno, his career, Jerry Sandusky, etc. it’s easy to see the appeal of this material to an actor like Al Pacino. Think about, Pacino made a documentary about William Shakespeare’s ‘Richard III.’ A role like Paterno would probably be his modern take on ‘King Lear.’ This news comes from Deadline Hollywood, who note that a package is coming together, but there’s no script or director attached. They do note the film has a producer in Pacino‚Äôs manager, Rick Nicita.

That all noted, other than HBO, there don’t seem to be a lot of homes for a project like this unless the film gets independent financing. Two or three decades ago, a prestige picture like this might provoke a bidding war, because with Pacino attached it would automatically be an Oscar contender. Nowadays, this is just as likely to never get made.

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