We all knew it was just a matter of time, and now it has come to fruition.
Legendary Hollywood actor Al Pacino will portray the rise and fall of Joe Paterno, the larger-than-life long-time coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions in a movie expected to be released sometime in late 2014.
The movie will be loosely based on the book “Paterno“ written by renowned Kansas City Star and baseball author Joe Posnanski, who also maintained close ties to the State College community throughout his time in sportswriting.
Personally, I can’t possibly think of anyone better to play Paterno that Al Pacino. His ability to play complex characters in a convincing way is absolutely infallible. Beyond that, Pacino has played coaches in the past. His portrayal of Tony D’Amato in 1999’s Any Given Sunday, as a coach dealing not only with his own personal demons but with the rapidly changing landscape of professional sports sets an outstanding precedent for him to play Paterno — a man who time passed as he struggled to maintain a grasp on the trouble brewing right around him.
It will be fascinating not only to see how Pacino portrays Paterno, but also to see who the producers of this movie — led by director Brian de Palma of Scarface and Carlito’s Way fame — will cast the role of Jerry Sandusky, whose portrayal will undoubtedly be as big a part of this biopic as Pacino’s role.
In fact, how well Sandusky is cast in this film, could make it or break it. Whoever the actor is will have to have the ability to play a man who was totally self-obssessed and delusional regarding the reprocussions of his actions. That’s a tender balance that rarely comes off as natural.
It’s an exciting prospect to see Pacino in this role, and you have to figure Brian De Palma will do a first-class job.
You can count on this one being one of the top draws of 2014 and also that those wanting the whole thing to just go away are hardly pleased to see the story reach the silver screen.