Al Pacino is reportedly set to play legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno in a movie.

A film based on the recent biography by Joe Posnanski entitled “Paterno” has been shopped around with the Academy Award-winning actor as the lead according to Deadline.com.  The book details the career rise of the Hall of Fame coach at Penn State and the turmoil surrounding the school and program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child abuse scandal.

“Paterno” has been on the New York Times bestseller list which makes it perfect fodder for a movie.

Pacino is no stranger to football films. He stared as coach Tony D’Amato in Oliver Stone’s film, “Any Given Sunday” in 1999. He’s also known for his roles in the Godfather trilogy and “Scarface.”

It’s an interesting subject for a film that’s for sure.

The general public has a love/hate relationship when it comes to JoePa. Some people still believe JoePa is an institution in college football while others despise the man for not doing enough to stop Sandusky during his time at Penn State.

Paterno was fired by the school’s board of trustees in November of 2011 and died in January following a brief bout with lung cancer. He was 85. He spent 44 seasons as the head football coach at Penn State and at the time of his death, was the winningest college football coach of all time. That honor was stripped away by the NCAA during recent sanctions against the school and the program for the Sandusky scandal.

It would be interesting to see if the movie gets picked up and how Pacino would transform himself to look like Paterno. Pacino, 72, would have to age a bit for the role.

 

 

 

E-mail Matt at mmurschel@orlandosentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter at @osmattmurschel.