Al Pacino Transforms Into Joe Paterno As Biopic Begins Production

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HBO on Saturday released a first-look photo of Al Pacino as the disgraced Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno.

Variety reports the film centers on Paterno's reaction to the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, which tainted his legacy after a career in which Paterno became the coach with the most wins in college football history.

In early June, it was reported that HBO had given the green-light to a new, as yet untitled film starring Pacino as Paterno, with Barry Levinson attached to direct. Pacino and Levinson worked together in "You Don't Know Jack" and "Phil Spector". In a side-by-side comparison photo by Deadline, there's no doubt a resemblance between Pacino and the late Paterno, although Pacino clearly has a thinner face than his square-jawed real-life subject.

The Oscar-winning Pacino has played a football coach before, in Oliver Stone's 1999 drama "Any Given Sunday", though that character was a fictional one.

HBO  AP
HBO AP

See the video below for more on Al Pacino 's role as Joe Paterno.

Paterno was sacked in November 2011 following revelations that Sandusky, his longtime assistant, sexual abused multiple young boys, some on campus.

Less than a year after he was dismissed from Penn State, Paterno died from lung cancer.

Paterno coached the Nittany Lions to 409 victories from 1966 to 2011 - 111 of which were vacated because of the scandal. Sandusky was convicted in 2012 on 48 counts related to child sexual abuse.

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