Premieres Saturday, April 7 at 8 PM ET/PT on HBO
HBO Films’ PATERNO 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. Academy Award® and Emmy® Award winner Al Pacino returns to HBO, starring in the title role. Riley Keough, Kathy Baker, Greg Grunberg, Annie Parisse And Larry Mitchell Also Star.
“PATERNO is not a sprawling piece that spans years,” observes director and executive producer Barry Levinson. “It unfolds largely over a two-week period, when we watch the events play out. I’m not following an agenda or trying to tell the audience to take a certain side in regards to Coach Paterno. The film lays out the elements of the story and leaves you to make your own judgment. There are times when you may feel one way, and times when you may feel a totally different way, and I think that’s what makes the piece so compelling. “Joe Paterno was known as an honorable man, an educator, a humanitarian – so trying to make sense out of what happened is, for me, the most fascinating aspect of the story,” he adds. “What did he understand? What did he not understand?”
Riley Keough plays Sara Ganim, the 23-year-old journalist who first reported on the Sandusky case for The Patriot-News, a daily newspaper serving the Harrisburg, Pa. metropolitan area; Kathy Baker plays Sue Paterno, Joe’s wife; Greg Grunberg plays Joe’s son Scott Paterno; Annie Parisse plays Joe’s daughter, Mary Kay Paterno; and Larry Mitchell plays Joe’s son Jay Paterno.