Whenever a story makes the headlines, folks across this great country of ours are forced to ask an inevitable question: When will the movie come out? Believe it or not, this question actually applies to Joe Paterno and the scandal at Penn State, and the potential film is garnering even more press because a famous actor has just put his hat into the ring as the guy who could pull off playing Paterno: Al Pacino.
From a purely cinematic perspective -- Al could certainly pull this off. They have a similar look and, with some prosthesis and a large pair of sunglasses, it may be a little bit eerie how perfect Pacino could be for the role. (Though I hate to say it, but Joe Pesci was the first actor who came to my mind when I initially read this report.)
But of course the other perspective begs the question: Is it too soon to even be talking about this?
Pacino reportedly acknowledged he was part of the new film, which is based on The New York Times bestselling book Paterno. The film doesn't have a script or a director yet, so it may not happen ... but come on.
My first thought went straight to the victims. Many of them are obviously still reeling from everything that has happened, with the media scrutiny, trial, harrowing testimony, even the death of JoePa himself. Do we really want to see a movie about all of this as the victims are still recovering, probably for the rest of their lives, and Paterno himself hasn't even been dead a year yet? And that angst doesn't even include all the innocent students affected by this scandal at Penn State. The last thing they probably want is to have this story thrust into the national spotlight (and onto movie screens) yet again.
There's talk that the movie will focus on just Paterno's career -- but they're going to have to address the scandal in some way. The sad end of his career and the abuse cover-up was as much a part of his legacy as his wins. I mean, can you imagine the headlines if they're going to have to cast someone to play Jerry Sandusky? Needless to say, though the movie may never be made, if it does, this is one I'm going to skip.
Do you think Al Pacino would make a great Joe Paterno? Would you watch a film about his life?
Image via Thomas Schulz/Wikimedia