HBO has released the first full trailer for their Paterno drama, which stars Al Pacino as Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and details the drama surrounding the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. In the newly released trailer of Paterno, directed by Barry Levinson, light is shed on the chaos and pressure that Joe Paterno faced after Sandusky’s sexual abuse scandal. The trailer alludes that Paterno may have known more about the allegations than he let on and shows the university in turmoil. In addition to Al Pacino, the movie also stars Riley Keough, Greg Grunberg, Kathy Baker, and Annie Parisse.
The trailer for Paterno features Joe Paterno being questioned and taunted by reporters including Riley Keough, who plays Sara Ganim, a reporter for The Patriot-News in Pennsylvania. Al Pacino’s Paterno looks shocked when people are calling for him to resign as the Penn State football coach. Violent protests are shown along with signs that say, “we want Joe.” A voiceover of Al Pacino’s Paterno says this.
“I raised millions of dollars for this university. I have a staff and a squad that can win a national championship. You wanna fire me? Try it.”
One of the most uncomfortable scenes in the Paterno trailer features Paterno‘s wife (played by Kathy Baker) as she’s questioning her husband’s actual knowledge about Jerry Sandusky and the sexual abuse allegations. She simply says, “went in the pool with the kids.” Pacino’s Paterno asks, “Jerry did? Our kids? What are you saying?” She then says, “I’m saying you couldn’t have known. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have let them go in the pool. Right?” The camera then pans to Pacino’s heavily made-up face looking a bit nervous. The entire 2-minutes of the trailer are pretty suspenseful and ends with that look on Al Pacino’s face.
Paterno will premiere April 7th on HBO and Academy Award winning director Barry Levinson says that, “the questioning of it is part of the fabric of the piece,” in regard to how much Joe Paterno knew about Jerry Sandusky’s behavior. Paterno, who died in 2012, was dismissed by Penn State the previous year in the wake of the Sandusky child sex abuse revelations. Paterno had announced that he would retire at the end of the season but Penn State decided to terminate his contract on the spot, ending his storied career.
Joe Paterno coached the Penn State Nittany Lions from 1966 to 2011 and with 409 victories, he is the most victorious coach in NCAA FBS history. However, in July of 2012, the NCAA terminated all of Penn State’s wins from 1998 through 2011 as part of its punishment for the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal. The association eliminated 111 of the games Joe Paterno had coached and won, which dropped him from first to twelfth on the list of the winningest NCAA coaches. The NCAA later reversed the decision, 3 years after the death of Paterno and his record still stands. You can check out the full trailer for Paterno below, courtesy of HBO’s YouTube channel.