Penn State football’s now-infamous scandal is getting an HBO movie, and Al Pacino is stepping onto the field to portray one of its key players. Pacino will play famed Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in the movie, which will follow the sexual-abuse scandal that engulfed the school’s football program in 2011, after his longtime assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested and charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Paterno, who died in 2012, was the winningest coach in college-football history. He was dismissed amid the Sandusky scandal, and later testified that he first learned of accusations against his assistant coach in 2001, though later reporting suggested that Paterno might have known about the abuse as early as 1998. Pacino is no stranger to controversial roles: He previously played Phil Spector in 2013 and Dr. Jack Kevorkian in 2010 for HBO, winning an Emmy and Golden Globe for the latter.
Al Pacino. Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images