Al Pacino and Brian De Palma, who worked together on 1993’s Carlito’s Way and 1983’s now-classic Scarface, are joining forces once again for Happy Valley, a feature about the controversial Penn State football coach Joe Paterno.
Producer Edward R. Pressman announced Wednesday that he has optioned the film rights to Paterno, the best-seller by sports journalist Joe Posnanski. Rick Nicita, who is managing a select group of clients through his company RPMedia, also will produce the project, with Anthony Scaramucci serving as exec producer.
The producers are in preliminary discussions with screenwriter David McKenna (American History X, Blow) about adapting the book for the screen.
“Happy Valley reunites the Scarface and Carlito’s Way team of De Palma and Pacino for the third time, and I can’t think of a better duo to tell this story of a complex, intensely righteous man who was brought down by his own tragic flaw,” Pressman said.
De Palma, repped by ICM Partners, most recently directed Passion, starring Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace, which had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. Pacino, repped by CAA, appeared in the recent Stand Up Guys and stars in HBO Films’ upcoming Phil Spector.
Pressman is developing a reinvention of the 1994 film The Crow, to be directed by Javier Gutiérrez, with Relativity; a reinvention of the action film Bloodsport, written by Robert Kamen and to be directed by Phillip Noyce; and The Monkey Wrench Gang, to be written and directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman.
Pressman’s COO Jon Katz will serve as executive producer and Joe Posnanski as co-producer. Posnanski is repped by ICM Partners.