Al Pacino’s Joe Paterno fights for his legacy and his job at Penn State in the first full trailer for Paterno, the HBO film about the football coach in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.
Directed by Barry Levinson – who previously cast Pacino to lead HBO biopics about Jack Kevorkian (You Don’t Know Jack) and Phil Spector (Phil Spector) – Paterno also stars Riley Keough as a newspaper reporter digging into how much the legendary coach, who spent 45 years at the helm of Penn State, knew about the child molestation accusations against Sandusky, a longtime defensive coordinator on Paterno’s staff.
The film also examines Paterno’s unceremonious retirement and termination in 2011 and the riots that broke out near campus after Paterno was let go. “All these people should be screaming about the victims, not Joe,” one student says of the riots in the trailer. The preview also finds Pacino’s Paterno wrestling with his own relationship with Sandusky.
Less than two months after his firing, Paterno, the winningest coach in college football history, died of lung cancer in January 2012 at the age of 85. Paterno premieres April 7th on HBO.