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Joe Paterno Movie? Al Pacino Reportedly In Talks To Play Penn State Coach [UPDATE]

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The Joe Paterno movie
The Joe Paterno movie "Happy Valley" will star Al Pacino.

Al Pacino may play Joe Paterno in a new movie about the late Penn State football coach, reports Deadline.com's Mike Fleming.

The film would be based on Joe Posnanski's biography of Paterno, which detailed the last two years of the coach's life.

UPDATE, Jan. 17, 2013: Four months later, Deadline.com reports that Pacino is officially onboard for the Joe Paterno movie. Called "Happy Valley," the feature will be directed by Brian De Palma. The pair memorably worked together on "Scarface" and "Carlito's Way." For more details on the film, head over to Deadline.com.

The original story continues below.

Paterno, who died in January, was one of college football's most famous coaches, racking up a record 409 wins before a child sex abuse scandal involving Penn State assistant coach Jerry Sandusky forever changed Paterno's reputation. According to the Freeh report, Paterno and other high-ranking university officials concealed Sandusky's abuse to protect the school's reputation. The NCAA took action against Paterno and Penn State after his death, banning the team from bowl games for the next four years, fining the school $60 million, and -- in a damaging blow to Paterno's on-field legacy -- removing all the team's wins between 1998 and 2011. The 111 vacated wins dropped Paterno's formerly record total to 298.

Sandusky was convicted in July of sexually abusing 10 young boys. He's currently in jail awaiting what could be a life sentence.

No writer or director is attached to the Paterno movie, but Pacino's involvement continues a string of the Oscar-winner tackling controversial real-life characters. Pacino has previously played Dr. Jack Kevorkian (in the HBO movie "You Don't Know Jack") and Roy Cohn (in the HBO adaptation of "Angels in America"). He's also played a football coach before, leading the Oliver Stone drama "Any Given Sunday."

For more on the Paterno movie, head over to Deadline.com.

[via Deadline.com]

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CLARIFICATION: This post has been amended to further contextualize Paterno's actions in relation to the charges against Sandusky.

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