Introducing Al Pacino as Joe Paterno.
HBO has unveiled a first look photo of the actor in character as the football coach for the cabler’s upcoming project directed by Barry Levinson.
The as-yet-untitled film centers on Joe Paterno, who, after becoming the winningest coach in college football history, is embroiled in Penn State’s Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, challenging his legacy and forcing him to face questions of institutional failure regarding the victims.
The film also stars Riley Keough as Sara Ganim, the 23-year-old journalist who first reported on the scandal, bringing it to the attention of the national media — and ultimately winning a Pulitzer Prize for her work. Annie Parisse will play Mary Kay Paterno, Joe Paterno’s daughter.
Levinson is directing and executive producing through his Levinson/Fontana banner, with Jason Sosnoff and Tom Fontana also executive producing. Edward Pressman and Linday Sloane also executive produce, along with Rick Nicita through his RP Media Company. The film was written by Debora Cahn and John C. Richards and David McKenna, and is being produced in association with Sony Pictures Television.
The film marks Pacino’s latest in a string of HBO efforts, along with the Jack Kevorkian biopic “You Don’t Know Jack,” “Phil Spector,” which followed the murder trial of the music business legend, and the mini-series “Angels in America.” Levinson directed and executive produced “You Don’t Know Jack,” as well as executive produced “Phil Spector.” The pair also collaborated on the 2014 film “The Humbling.”