Announced by Deadline today, January 17, 2013, “Scarface” director Brian De Palma will reunite with the legendary Al Pacino in the sure-to-be-controversial film, “Happy Valley,” about the disgraced former coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, Joe Paterno. Paterno was considered one of the most legendary and successful coaches in college football history, and he was known for his kindness and generosity, but his public image was destroyed after it was revealed that he was aware that his former defensive coordinator, Jerry Sandusky, was engaging in illicit sexual activities with a number of underage boys he solicited through his charitable organizations.
Paterno was diagnosed with lung cancer in the midst of the scandal and he died almost immediately. The film will reportedly be based on Joe Posnanski’s best-selling book, “Paterno” though there’s no information yet as to how much of the film will be dedicated to the Sandusky tragedy and how much will be a tribute to Paterno’s legendary football legacy. Regardless of their decision, the film is sure to brew a lot of controversy.
Pacino will portray the legendary coach, which will mark the second time he’s portrayed a football coach in his career – the first being his role in Oliver Stone’s “Any Given Sunday.” Although it’s clear that Pacino can play the role, De Palma seems like an odd choice for a docu-drama, though he may have been attracted to the sordid details of the Sandusky-Paterno relationship. He and Pacino have worked together previously, most notably on the award-winning, extremely popular gangster film, “Scarface.”
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