HBO gives first look at Al Pacino as Joe Paterno in upcoming film

In this combination photo, actor Al Pacino, left, appears during a photo shoot in New York on Dec. 7, 2012 and Penn State football coach Joe Paterno pauses during a media day press conference at Beaver Stadium in State College, Pa., on Aug. 8, 2004. Pacino will star as late Penn State football coach in an upcoming HBO film directed by Barry Levinson. HBO says the film will focus on Paterno dealing with the fallout from the child sex abuse scandal involving his former assistant, Jerry Sandusky.

HBO has a released a first look at Oscar winner Al Pacino as Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in the network’s upcoming film about the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

Revealed over the weekend, a photo shows Pacino in a blue shirt and tie, a Penn State jacket, and thick-framed glasses similar to those worn by the late football coach. Pacino has been officially attached to the project as Paterno since June.

Al Pacino appears as Joe Paterno in an as-yet-untitled film project from HBO.

The film, directed by Barry Levinson, centers around Paterno’s embroilment in the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal at Penn State — an event that “[challenges] his legacy and [forces] him to face questions of institutional failure regarding the victims,” according to a release.

Prior to his death in 2012, Paterno was the winningest coach in the history of college football. Penn State fired Paterno in connection with the scandal two months prior to his death, and Paterno’s assistant coach, Sandusky, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the sexual abuse of young boys.

No release date has yet been announced for the as-yet-untitled HBO project. The film is currently in production.

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