The shocking fall of the once-beloved Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is still fresh on everyone’s mind and Hollywood is already looking to make a biopic about his fascinating life. Deadline reports that Al Pacino will star as the late Joe Paterno – the winningest coach in Division I college football before sanctions wiped out more than a hundred of his wins — with the movie adapted from Paterno, the best-selling biography by Joe Posnanski.
Oddly enough, Posnanski began writing the book long before long-time defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was convicted of child molestation over the course of more than one decade. The scandal broke as the author was finishing his book and he was able to include Paterno’s shocking fall from grace which happened in a matter of weeks.
I highly doubt enough time has gone by so that we, as a society, have had time to reflect on Paterno’s life and legacy. By all accounts, Paterno did a lot of positive things for Penn State, the Happy Valley community and the sport of football over the course of his lifetime. On the other hand, there is absolutely no doubt that what Sandusky did was thoroughly heinous and that Paterno had a moral responsibility to address the issue in a more authoritative manner.
How will the movie address these controversial issues and the man’s legacy when it’s all said and done. Will they try to redeem the man or bury him deeper into the ground?
It certainly will be interesting to see where the filmmakers go with this film.
What do you think? How will Paterno’s one unforgivable mistake affect his otherwise largely upstanding legacy?