HBO's Joe Paterno biopic starring Al Pacino sets airdate

TV-HBO-Joe Paterno Film
In this image released by HBO, Kathy Baker, left, and Al Pacino portray Sue and Joe Paterno in a scene from "Paterno," a film about the late Penn State football coach. HBO says the film will focus on Paterno dealing with the fallout from the child sex abuse scandal involving his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. The all-time winningest coach in major college football history was fired days after Sandusky's Nov. 2011 arrest and died two months later at the age of 85.

HBO Films will release Paterno, its Al Pacino-starring biopic about late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal, in the spring.

Paterno will debut on HBO on Saturday, April 7 at 8 p.m., the network announced today. The film primarily focuses on the fallout of the Sandusky scandal in reference to Paterno’s legacy as the winningest coach in the history of college football.

In addition to Pacino, the film stars Riley Keough as Patriot-News reporter Sara Ganim, Kathy Baker as Paterno’s widow, Sue, and Darren Goldstein as former Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary. The film was directed by Wag the Dog director Barry Levinson, who most recently directed the Wizard of Lies, about Barry Madoff, played by Robert De Niro.

“I think the film has to deal with the complexity of it all, rather than say he did this or he didn’t do that. … The questioning of it is part of the fabric of the piece,” Levinson said of the film at the Television Critics Association’s recent winter meetings, the Inquirer reports. “It truly is a tragedy.”