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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Your Daily Guide To Trending Topics

Every day there are some topics that are trending. Since many of them don’t make sense, we provide easy contextualization. Also, this way, you won’t actually have to know anything about anything.

Tony Awards

Who knew Google users were so theatrical? The trendingest term on the site this morning has to do with last night’s awards show, hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, which celebrated all things theater. Once, adapted from the twee movie of the same name, took the award for Best Musical, and the beloved revival of Clybourne Park took the award for Best Play.

Auburn University

Googlers are also curious about Auburn University or, more specifically, the shooting that took place near its campus Sunday. A pool party was interrupted, cops say, when Desmonte Leonard arrived at the soiree, shot three people dead and wounded three others in what might have been a fight over the affections of a lady. Leonard is still at large. Though people are tying the crime to the nearby school and its football team, but Auburn’s police chief has said, “The only connection that the Auburn football team has to this is they are victims of a brutal shooting. Sometimes the young men get a bad rap, I feel like, but they are the victims today.” 

Deena Cortese

Yahoo! users are more interested in the crimes of Jersey Shore star Cortese, who was arrested Sunday in Seaside Heights, NJ for disorderly conduct. According to TMZ, this came after a weekend that saw the show’s gents get into a bar brawl that left one cast member with a sprained ankle.  Since Snooki’s about to be a mom, someone’s gotta take over her role of being an out-of-control boardwalk hobbit. You can check out a video of the ordeal here.

Joe Paterno’s Will

Something else capturing the minds of Yahoo searchers this morning is the odd news that the will of the late Joe Paterno, the Penn State coach who died in January (and was tied up in all of that nasty pedophilia scandal stuff), has been mysteriously sealed. And it goes deeper than that. “Even the judge’s sealing order and the petition a Paterno attorney filed to request the order were sealed, erasing from the public record any explanation for the maneuver, which estate law experts and the Centre County register of wills called exceedingly rare,” reported Citizen’s Voice, a local newspaper. Something creepy’s going on! 

#10SignsShesTheOne

You’re doing better today, Twitter. While most of your worldwide trending topics are still exceptionally simple minded, in the U.S., news about tennis and the alleged butchering of some interesting Jeb Bush quotes are trending. Unfortunately, it’s just people postings the same stories again and again. Here and here. For variety in tweets, we had to go with this charmer. You’re welcome.  

THe One 4

The One 3

The One 2

The One 1

Ashton Kutcher’s Twitter Gaffe: Penn State Has “#noclass” After Paterno Firing

Last night, following the firing of much-loved Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, Penn State students took to the streets of State College, Pennsylvania, to declare their unhappiness with the Board of Directors’ decision. "They turned their ire on a news van," reports the New York Times, "a symbolic gesture that expressed a view held by many that the news media exaggerated Mr. Paterno’s role in the scandal surrounding accusations that a former assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, sexually assaulted young boys." While the students rioted outside their dorm rooms, plenty of people went on Twitter to declare their satisfaction with Paterno’s firing. One dissenter? Prolific Twitter user and Two and a Half Men star Ashton Kutcher.

"How do you fire Jo Pa? #insult #noclass," Kutcher wrote, an update that was quickly deleted after being retweeted by hundreds of users. Not surprisingly, people lashed out at the sitcom actor, who then addressed the angry mob of by re-tweeting a handful of them, admitting his error.

ashton kutcher twitter feed

Those re-tweets, like the original update, have been deleted. Left standing are two updates. "As an advocate in the fight against child sexual exploitation, I could not be more remorseful for all involved in the Penn St. case," he wrote, followed by, "As of immediately I will stop tweeting until I find a way to properly manage this feed. I feel awful about this error. Won’t happen again."

Mashable wonders if the latter tweet indicates that someone manages Kutcher’s Twitter account for him. It’s quite possible, as plenty of celebrities hire people to update their Twitter accounts, as silly and proposterous as that might seem. But Kutcher has always been an advocate for social media–he even invests in several technology startups and not-so-discretely plugs them on his show. So if it turns out that Kutcher blames the update on anything other than his complete lack of knowledge regarding current events, remember that we called bullshit here first.

This is, of course, not the first time that Kutcher has been accused of being slightly unaware of his facts. In June, the Village Voice ran a long cover story about the misrepresentations of Kutcher and wife Demi Moore’s "Real Men Don’t Buy Girls" PSAs, a feature that sparked controversy when Kutcher, again, took to Twitter to defend himself. "I only PLAYED stupid on TV," he wrote in a tweet addressed to the Voice. With last night’s gaffe, it seems like "art" again imitates life.