Penn State Football

Report: HBO greenlights Sandusky film starring Al Pacino as Penn State football coach Joe Paterno

After years of speculation, Al Pacino is finally set to star as late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno in an HBO movie about the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal, according to a report Monday afternoon by The Hollywood Reporter.

The project does not yet have a title, but it will be directed and executive produced by Barry Levinson.

According to reports, the script will be written by Debora Cahn (Grey’s Anatomy), John C. Richards (Nurse Betty) and David McKenna (American History X). The movie will be produced by HBO in association with Sony Pictures Television.

Pacino, the legendary Academy Award-winning actor, will play Paterno — the winningest coach in college football history who accumulated 409 wins in 46 years of coaching the Nittany Lions. Paterno’s legacy is intertwined with the Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

Sandusky, who served on Paterno’s staff for three decades, was found guilty on 45 counts of sexual abuse and sentenced to 60 years in prison in 2012.

Pacino has been connected to playing Paterno for years. In 2013, director and screenwriter Brian De Palma was set to make the film based on Joe Posnanski’s book, “Paterno,” but HBO announced a year later that it had “suspended pre-production for a moment to deal with budget issues,” according to TV Line.

There is no release date or further information about the film.

John McGonigal: 814-231-4630, @jmcgonigal9