“Zodiac’s” John Carroll Lynch is preparing to play another monster, as he’s set to play Jerry Sandusky opposite Al Pacino in Brian De Palma’s Joe Paterno movie “Happy Valley,” multiple individuals familiar with the project have told TheWrap.
Pacino will star as Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, whose legend took a major hit when it was revealed that he knew former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was molesting children and did little to stop it in order to protect the reputation of his prized pigskin program.
Sandusky was discovered with a child in the locker room showers by a future assistant coach.
Following an intense investigation, Penn State fired Paterno, who subsequently died of cancer as the most winning coach in football history and an icon at the university. The NCAA later stripped the coach of many wins due to the cover-up, and a statue of Paterno was removed from Penn State.
Sandusky wound up convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse against minors and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
Edward R. Pressman (“Wall Street”) is producing “Happy Valley” with Pacino’s manager Rick Nicita, while Jon Katz will executive produce.
Also read: Jerry Sandusky’s Wife: He’s Innocent (Video)
Dave McKenna (“American History X”) wrote the script, which is based on Joe Posnanski’s bestselling book “Paterno” that was optioned by Pressman. Posnanski will serve as a co-producer on the movie.
Lynch recently appeared on FX’s “The Americans” and is currently filming “American Horror Story: Freak Show.” He’ll soon be seen on the big screen alongside Kristen Stewart in “Camp X-Ray.”
“Happy Valley” is a major coup for Lynch, the beloved character actor who played Frances McDormand’s husband in “Fargo,” worked with Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood on “Shutter Island” and “Gran Torino,” respectively, and fell under Jake Gyllenhaal‘s suspicions in David Fincher’s “Zodiac.”
Lynch is represented by manager James Suskin, who did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.