Details Emerge on Upcoming Paterno Movie

The controversial movie about Joe Paterno’s life is slowly coming together, according to this Huffington Post bit yesterday.

As has been previously reported, legendary Scarface and The Godfather actor Al Pacino will play the former coach in the film tentatively called Happy Valley. Although the project is still in its early stages, some new details are slowly coming out. The film will be produced by Ed Pressman (Thank You For Smoking, Wall Street), directed by Brian De Palma (Scarface, Mission: Impossible), and written by David McKenna (American History X, S.W.A.T.), who has already visited State College.

This will mark the third occasion Pacino and De Palma have worked together on a film. It’s been decades since the two were on the same set — the tandem teamed up to create Carlito’s Way in 1993.

Here’s the first hint about what some of the content might be:

Screenwriter McKenna has compiled many anecdotes and tales about Paterno and one story that struck Pressman was when Paterno took his two daughters to a restaurant where one ordered a la carte while the other chose the buffet. The daughter who ordered a la carte reached over and took a pickle from her sister who had ordered buffet. This made Paterno so furious that he stormed out of the restaurant and had to drive his car around the block in order to calm down.

If there was every any doubt that the Sandusky scandal wouldn’t be at the forefront of this movie, Pressman cleared that up, saying that Sandusky will “play a major part in the film.”

“It’s a complex story,” adds Pressman, who is a bit cagey on precisely what the film is going to cover, although he says that Jerry Sandusky will play a major part in the film. People know the horror of Sandusky’s acts, and are aware of Paterno’s complicity, but based on my conversation with Pressman, this film will give audiences a clear understanding of Sandusky’s rise to power in the Penn State program and exactly how it brought about Paterno’s demise.

No timetable has been given for shooting or completion, but it looks like the project is still on for now. It will be interesting to see how well the crew will balance Paterno’s thorough and extraordinary life with the events that marked the end. 150 minutes might not be enough.

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About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]

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