Al Pacino to Star as Joe Paterno in Brian De Palma’s Upcoming Biopic

When I think of all of the stories that need to be put on the big screen, obviously, naturally, the first one to come to mind is that Penn State child-rape football scandal. Think about it! The gltiz, the glamour, the drama! And all of it directed by Brian De Palma, someone know for his incredibly somber, subtle films like Carrie, Sisters, and Snake Eyes. And who else to play Joe Paterno but living legend Al Pacino? What could possibly go wrong here?

DePalma will be reuniting with his own Scarface actor for a film tentatively titled Happy Valley based on a biography of the Penn State football coach by Joe Posnanski. The film will focus on Paterno’s "Shakespearian fall from grace" following the Penn State rape scandal. Deadline reveals why it looks to be a heavy-hitting film:

There are so many themes to deal with here, from Paterno’s rise and his loyalty to a football program he spent his life building, to the obvious question of how a molder of young men could possibly have stood silently by when told that one of his former coaches started a charity for underprivileged kids and used it as a way to ingratiate himself into vulnerable young fatherless boys for sexual encounters,? The failure of Paterno and university officials to act allowed Sandusky to continue molesting boys for years, which was borne out in court testimony leading to his conviction and incarceration. Posnanski was working on a book about Paterno and was well into it when the scandal broke. The book is as much about what made Paterno tick as anything else, and capturing complex characters is something Pacino does well. He played a conflicted pro football coach in Any Given Sunday, and Jack Kevorkian in the HBO film You Don’t Know Jack.

I just hope it ends with Paterno snorting a massive amount of cocaine. Go out with a bang, not a whimper: that’s the Brian De Palma way. 

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Sandusky Says He’s Innocent… Allegedly

According to the good people at NPR, Jerry Sandusky–also known as The Guy Who May Or May Not Have Molested A Bunch Of Kids While Under Employ of Penn State–has proclaimed his innocence in an interview with NBC. Which isn’t exactly surprising, given that any of us charged with such allegations would have most likely said the same thing.

In an interview to air tonight on NBC’s new Rock Center program Sandusky answered an emphatic "No" when asked by NBC’s Brian Williams if he was a pedophile. This comes after a weeklong hellstorm of epic proportions concerning the allegations that Sandusky may have molested young boys while under payroll at the football-centric Penn State, which of course, as we have come to find out, values the be-all-end-all of (capital F) Football over such allegations. To show you just how vitriolic Penn State students were over the allegatoons: students overturned a news van this weekend in protest of beloved football coach Joe Paterno’s firing after Paterno allegedly did not contact authorities after witnessing an occurance of said child molestation. 

Sandusky has said "I am innocent of those charges," while adding "I could say that I have done some of those things. I have horsed around with kids I have showered after workouts. I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact," which is mildly hilarious considering how un-professional showering with children is in 2011 America. 

NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams, however, is enjoying a meteoric start with such guests as The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart and 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey, not to mention the fire behind the Sandusky / Penn State scandal at its heels. We can only hope Brian Williams does more with this position, as it’s quickly becoming the defacto go-to news source for late breaking news.