“Happy Valley”, the film detailing the story of Penn State and Joe Paterno, now has a director and star. Al Pacino and Brian De Palma, the actor and director of “Scarface” and “Carlito’s Way”, will be helming the project. This was reported on Jan. 16 by Deadline New York by Mike Fleming, Jr.
The film is based on the book “Paterno” by Joe Posnanski, and it was optioned by producer Edward R. Pressman (producer of “Wall Street”). Dave McKenna (“American History X”) is set to write a screenplay based on the book. The Edward R. Pressman Corporation is backing the project.
The book tells of the very recent scandal caused at Penn State when Joe Paterno, head coach of the football team, discovered former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was molesting children, many young, many in the school locker rooms. They decided not to file official reports and covered it up, fearing bad publicity would spoil the sport at the school. In the end, Joe Paterno was fired from his position as coach but died soon after the decision, due to cancer but also as some said to a broken heart; Sandusky was found guilty on several counts of molestation and was sentenced to a lifetime in prison.
Al Pacino (“The Godfather I, II, and III”, “Scent of a Woman”) became attached to the project last when a package, which included the book, was shopped by him last fall. Pacinos’ manager, Rick Nicita, will also be a producer.
The focus of the film is being obscured for now, with Pressman only saying, “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.”
De Palma’s (“The Untouchables”) latest film was “Passion”, starring Rachel McAdams and “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s” Noomi Rapace, and which also premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
For more information, including a more in-depth look at the events of Penn State, visit the Deadline New York article by Mike Fleming, Jr.