You put Brian de Palma and Al Pacino together, we’ll be there. The duo have already collaborated on “Scarface” and the underrated “Carlito’s Way,” so the news of them reuniting again more than two decades after the latter film was a big treat. Particularly since they were shifting gears, moving out of the realm of pulp gangster flicks into a true life drama. But HBO has temporarily halted those plans.
The cable network put a hold on “Happy Valley,” which dramatizes the story of legendary football coach Joe Paterno, who saw his career and legacy left in shambles when it emerged that his defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky had been sexually abusing young boys for years. Even worse, Paterno had these assaults brought to his attention, didn’t bring authorities into the picture to investigate, and was accused of essentially covering up the crimes. It’s a provocative story and things seemed to be moving along when earlier this week John Carroll Lynch was cast as Sandusky. But alas, the project will have to wait a moment, but don’t worry, “Happy Valley” is still developing and isn’t dead.
“We have not killed the project, so to say so [would be] inaccurate,” the network told Deadline. “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.” But it’s not just budget issues, as apparently the script is getting some tinkering done to it as well.
That said, for this kind of story, we understand why HBO wants to ensure they’re putting their best foot forward. But let’s just hope this hiatus is brief and doesn’t drag out, forcing some of that creative team to slip away.