The Oscar winner plays the late Penn State coach who was disgraced following sexual abuse allegations against his assistant coach Jerry Sandusky
“Joe, did you know about Jerry?”
The question haunts the first teaser trailer for Paterno, HBO’s upcoming film about the legendary eponymous Penn State head coach and his swift downfall, after dozens of allegations of child abuse and molestation surfaced against his assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, who was ultimately sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison. Paterno died from lung cancer in 2012, in the aftermath of the revelations that ultimately cost him his job.
The film explores the dynamics of the scandal, particularly as charges of complicity mounted against Joe Paterno (Al Pacino) when evidence increasingly pointed to Sandusky using the East Area Locker Rooms at Penn State to abuse children he met through his The Second Mile charity. Riley Keough (The Girlfriend Experience) plays reporter Sara Ganim, while Kathy Baker stars as his wife Sue.
The teaser captures the frenzy that engulfed Penn State and that ultimately tarnished Paterno’s reputation. The film is directed by Barry Levinson, marking an HBO reunion between the filmmaker and Pacino after the Emmy-winning You Don’t Know Jack.
Paterno premieres on HBO later this year.