'Paterno' Trailer: Al Pacino Recreates Joe Paterno's Downfall

Al Pacino may not appear in many big screen features these days, but he's had a steady run taking the lead as several real-life figures in HBO movies. Pacino's latest HBO film is Paterno, telling the story of the disgraced Penn State Nittany Lions coach. The Paterno trailer below presents the dramatic events swirling around the end of Paterno's life.

Joe Paterno was a college football legend – a coach with the most victories in NCAA FBS history. Then it all came crashing down. A child sex abuse scandal involving Paterno's former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky broke in 2011, and an investigation later revealed Paterno covered up info regarding Sandusky's years of abuse. The story of the scandal surrounding Paterno is dramatized in Barry Levinson's Paterno, starring Al Pacino. A new Paterno trailer has arrived to signal the film's April release.

Paterno Trailer 

This is an effective trailer, and Pacino will no doubt be great. I just hope the film ends up being better than Barry Levinson's most recent HBO film, The Wizard of Lies, which featured Robert De Niro as Bernie Madoff. De Niro's performance was wonderful, but the film itself felt oddly flat.

In addition to Pacino, Paterno also stars Riley Keough as a reporter investigating the story. The rest of the cast features Kathy Baker, Greg Grunberg, Annie Parisse and Larry Mitchell.

"The question isn't just what he knew, it's what he did about it," Pacino said of the real Joe Paterno. "I think he knew there were complaints. He knew there were rumors...I don't think he was very fond of Sandusky, for whatever reasons — I think there were other reasons...a guy like Paterno — he's like an emperor, he's like a king. He didn't take up with it because it was out of his control. And I think this is a character who's used to control."

This will mark the third time Pacino has played a controversial real-life figure for HBO. The actor previously appeared in the Levinson-directed HBO film You Don't Know Jack, as "suicide doctor" Jack Kevorkian. He appeared in David Mamet's Phil Spector, about the murder trial of record producer Phil Spector. Pacino will next be seen as yet another controversial real-life figure: he's playing Jimmy Hoffa in Martin Scorsese's Netflix film The Irishman. 

Paterno will debut on HBO on Saturday, April 7, 2018.

Starring Al Pacino in the title role, the drama centers on Penn State's Joe Paterno in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. After becoming the winningest coach in college football history, Paterno's legacy is challenged and he is forced to face questions of institutional failure in regard to the victims.