While it has been in the works for several years, HBO made the official announcement that they will be moving forward with the movie that centers on Joe Paterno and the Jerry Sandusky scandal that rocked Penn State in 2011 and continues to fragment the university to this day.
Details about the movie are currently sparse, with no premiere date or timeline immediately available. The movie will star Al Pacino as Paterno, with Riley Keogh of Mad Max: Fury Road as reporter Sara Ganim. Barry Levinson, who has an outstanding background of writing and producing works such as Oz, Wag the Dog, Donnie Brasco and Sleepers is among the scriptwriters for the film.
As a member of the Penn State community, will you plan to watch when the movie is eventually released?
While I have seen plenty of negative comments from the Penn State fanbase, seemingly out of fatigue or disillusioned by the media’s coverage of the scandal, I will certainly give it a try when it comes out. First off, HBO is arguably the king of original programming. Current shows like Veep, The Leftovers, Silicone Valley, Last Week Tonight and Curb Your Enthusiasm are on my must-watch list, and the network has a long history of creating iconic programs such as The Wire, The Sopranos and Game of Thrones. They have also done an excellent job with original movies, and I would highly suggest Wizard of Lies, Confirmation, Recount, Game Change and Clear History, among others.
The film will no doubt be tough to stomach, especially for those in the Penn State community who could not have imagined anything of this nature occurring in Happy Valley prior to November 2011. However, I plan to go in with an open mind and hope for a nuanced portrayal of the scandal and it’s aftermath- something thus far that has been lacking in coverage during the past six years, as most accounts have been painted broadly in black and white with little regard for the specific details.
So what say you, BSD reader? Do you plan to watch HBO’s Penn State/Paterno film or will you be avoiding it all together?