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Actor Al Pacino and director Brian De Palma are teaming up again for Happy Valley, a project about the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and the Jerry Sandusky scandal that led to his downfall.
The film, titled after a name for the State College, Pennsylvania area where the university is located, will be written by American History X writer Dave McKenna. It will be based on sports writer Joe Posnanski's best-selling book Paterno, which was optioned by Wall Street producer Edward R. Pressman.
“Happy Valley reunites the Scarface and Carlito’s Way team of De Palma & Pacino for the third time and I can’t think of a better duo to tell this story of a complex, intensely righteous man who was brought down by his own tragic flaw,” Pressman told Deadline, confirming the project.
Paterno had been one of the most revered figures in college sports before the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal was made public. An investigation found that Paterno and other Penn State officials had not acted on the accusations against his assistant coach. Paterno was fired and died just months later of cancer. Sandusky was convicted and will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Happy Valley will likely be De Palma’s follow-up to Passion, his latest, which starred Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace. For Pacino, the role comes after the upcoming Stand Up Guys and HBO’s Phil Spector biopic.
Pacino and De Palma first teamed up for the classic 1983 remake of Scarface and later worked on Carlito’s Way in 1993.