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Al Pacino to play Joe Paterno in upcoming biopic 'Happy Valley'

Al Pacino, left, and Joe Paterno.
Al Pacino, left, and Joe Paterno.Getty file, Reuters file

The film that will tell the story of the late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno is beginning to take shape. Al Pacino is attached to play Paterno in the biopic tentatively titled "Happy Valley," and Brian De Palma will direct, De Palma's agent confirms to NBC News.

Pacino and De Palma have quite a bit of history together, having teamed up for 1993's "Carlito's Way" and 1983's "Scarface." In a statement to NBC News, "Wall Street" producer Edward  R. Pressman, who optioned "Paterno," the book the "Happy Valley" screenplay will be based on, talks about the legendary actor/director duo.

"'Happy Valley' reunites the 'Scarface' and 'Carlito’s Way' team of De Palma and 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 said.

The project is still in the development stages; no script has been completed yet.

Paterno, who died Jan. 22, 2012, was in his 62nd year on the coaching staff at Penn State when the university relieved him of his coaching duties amid the scandal surrounding assistant coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky was ultimately sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison for abusing 10 boys he met over 15 years through his charity for troubled children.

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