Al Pacino is set to play legendary and controversial Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in an upcoming film about the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, according to Kate Stanhope of the Hollywood Reporter.
The project is in the works at HBO and it has Barry Levinson attached to direct and executive produce the film.
No word yet and who will portray Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky who is in prison after being found guilty of over 40 sexual abuse charges in 2012.
The scandal is a black eye on a program that was long viewed as one of the more respectable in all of college sports prior to Sandusky's atrocities coming to light. Paterno was viewed as the guiding patriarch of that program and it shocked the school's alumni to learn that Paterno turned a blind eye to any of Sandusky's misdeeds.
Pacino, who is an Academy Award winner best known for his breakout role as Michael Corleone in the Godfather, famously played a football coach once before in Oliver Stone's 1999 hit Any Given Sunday when he starred as Tony D'Amato and gave the often repurposed "inch by inch" speech.
The Sandusky scandal was in the news again last week when three high ranking officials at Penn State were sentenced to prison for their involvement in allowing the abuse to continue.
"They ignored the opportunity to put an end to his crimes when they had a chance to do so," Judge John Boccabella said as he lambasted the three defendants and the Hall of Fame coach over a delay that prosecutors say enabled Sandusky to molest four more boys.
Both the judge and prosecutors pointed towards Paterno as someone who could have put a stop to the abuse.