Al Pacino to play Joe Paterno in 'Happy Valley' film

Friday January 18th, 2013

Al Pacino also played a football coach in "Any Given Sunday."(Fernando Leon/Getty Images) Al Pacino previously played a football coach in "Any Given Sunday."(Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

Academy Award winner Al Pacino will play the lead role in a film about the late Penn State coach Joe Paterno directed by Brian De Palma, as first reported by

The film, under the current working title "Happy Valley," will be based on the best-selling book "Paterno" by Joe Posnanski. Dave McKenna, screenwriter of "American History X" and "Blow," is negotiating to write the screenplay.

Producer Edward R. Pressman said in a statement:

"'Happy Valley" reunites the 'Scarface' and 'Carlito's Way' team of De Palma and Pacino for the third time and I can't think of a better duo to tell this story of a complex, intensely righteous man who was brought down by his own tragic flaw."
While Pressman categorizes the film's plot as "under wraps," Posnanski's book followed Paterno's final years at Penn Sate, as he became the winningest coach in college football history only to see his career end in disgrace amidst the fallout of the sex abuse scandal involving assistant Jerry Sandusky.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.