Critically acclaimed actor of such classic films such as Heat and The Scent of a Woman, will play Jow Paterno in an upcoming HBO television movie, directed by Barry Levinson, Deadline reported Monday. The film is now untitled and there’s no indication in the Deadline story that it’s based on Joe Posnanski’s 2012autobiography; there’s no word on casting beyond placing Pacino in the lead role.
Barry Levinson has some history with HBO, co-created the hit prison drama Oz, and also directed Pacino in the docudrama You Don’t Know Jack. He also directed Wizard of Lies, concerning the billion dollar exploits of Bernie Madoff, starring Pacino’s co-star Robert Deniro. Pacino, in addition to the Kevorkian film, played Phil Spector in the film of that name, as well as Roy Cohn in HBO’s adaptation of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America.
My take: Al Pacino looks good for the role so long as he gives it his all. As of the last fifteen years or so, Pacino’s roles have gone from the middling to the atrocious, and it’s clear to me the sensitive subject matter deserves a serious take, not Al screaming incoherently throughout and/or slumming, as he’s wont to do.