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Paterno: The Movie, Starring Al Pacino

In today’s ridiculously fast media environment, news stories can go from headlines to feature film pitches in less than a year. This weekend, Deadline reported that ICM Partners is shopping around a package based on Joe Posnanski’s biography, Paterno, with Al Pacino attached to star. Yes, Al Pacino of The GodfatherScarface, and Jack and Jill fame.

This movie is not the first production to focus on the Sandusky Scandal; A&E is working on one of a number of documentaries, and several of our editors are subjects in a documentary by alumus Kelly Dolak. However, it is the first narrative film to be produced on the subject.

How much time should go by before news events are considered free game for entertainment? Penn State is obviously still experiencing the symptoms of this summer’s legal proceedings, and the “cover up” portrayed by the Freeh report may not be a complete record of the story.

And what about the grey moral ground in jumping to make a movie about this case so quick — is it an attempt to make money off a child sexual abuse scandal, or is there a legitimate story to tell? Would waiting a couple years have made any difference? In any case, at this early a stage, it’s hard to tell whether or not this movie will be a good idea.

This whole thing also raises the question of who will play the rest of the Penn State supporting cast. Will they film part of the movie on Penn State’s campus? Somethings tells me at Al Pacino walking around Beaver Stadium dressed like Joe Paterno wouldn’t go over well with some people.

Who else do you think will be cast as the other characters?? Rupert Grint as Mike McQueary was a popular answer on Twitter this weekend. Let us know your ideas in the comments.

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About the Author

Alex Federman

Alex is a Senior at Penn State who enjoys watching movies and television shows (probably a bit too much). He's a Film/Video major, with a Spanish minor.

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