HBO has suspended pre-production of a movie project that has generated controversy, with the pay-cable channel citing budget issues as the reason for the move.
TheWrap.com reports the suspension of “Happy Valley,” a film from Brian De Palma about the Penn State football scandal centered on convicted serial child molester Jerry Sandusky. The scandal tainted the legacy of longtime Penn State head coach Joe Paterno.
While a number of commenters responding to reports of the HBO move have asserted that the sensitive nature of the project may in fact be related to its suspension and have hinted that the project is in jeopardy, HBO says otherwise.
In a statement, HBO said: “We have not killed the project, so to say so inaccurate. We have suspended pre-production for a moment to deal with budget issues, but the project is still intact at HBO with the entire creative team as before.”
Sandusky, who was an assistant football coach at Penn State University, is now in prison, after he was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse against minors. Paterno was implicated in a cover-up of the abuse, and died in 2012.
The project is slated to star Al Pacino as Paterno and John Carroll Lynch as Sandusky, the report notes.
Brian De Palma