Brian De Palma and Al Pacino are reteaming for Joe Paterno film, Happy Valley
Last September, I told you guys that Pacino had signed on to take on the role of the late Penn State football coach. De Palma will direct the film adapted from Paterno by Joe Posnanski. I think that when these two get together they do an excellent job. HAPPY VALLEY will be no different.
Most of you know the controversy behind the Sandusky scandal involving Paterno, who knew about the allegations but did little to stop the situation. It's crazy to see how far a man could fall in the blink of an eye. Edward R. Pressman, who is producing as well as backing the film through his own banner, said this about the team up of Pacino and De Palma on this particular project, "Happy Valley reunites the Scarface and Carlito’s Way team of De Palma & 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."
For those who need a refresher, here is some background provided by Deadline who got the exclusive:
Paterno’s fall from grace was Shakespearean and when he died shortly after his firing, many felt it was from a broken heart as much as cancer. He was in the twilight of a coaching career that left him the winningest coach in college football history, an iconic and beloved campus figure. Until his former defensive coordinator Sandusky was revealed to be a prolific pedophile, something that Paterno had been told about. While he informed an administrator, they did not call police, even after a graduate assistant and future assistant coach witnessed Sandusky in an encounter that looked like an act of sodomy with a child in the locker room showers.
An investigation led the university to abruptly fire Paterno, and his cherished football program was crushed. Penn State is reeling after unprecedented sanctions dropped by the NCAA. The university tore down a fabled statue of Paterno, and the NCAA stripped the coach’s wins going back to the coverup. Posthumously, he is no longer the winniningest college coach in history. More importantly, Sandusky was found guilty on 45 counts of sexual abuse against young boys and is expected to spend the rest of his life in prison.
Posnanski wrote the book before the scandal, and while it is included there is much more there than just that. Paterno should be an interesting character study for Pacino.