Casting Couch: Al Pacino Is Joe Paterno For Brian De Palma, Patrick Stewart to Play a ‘Match,’ And More

Pacino and De Palma

What is Casting Couch? Today’s it’s just a little casting news column trying to get by at the hands of a Sundance-bound Kate Erbland. Nathan, we need you!

We’ve been due for a truly gritty, really in-depth on fallen from grace Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno for months now, but it turns out, we’re now set to get an even better project than we could possibly have dreamed of, because director Brian De Palma and star Al Pacino have now teamed up to bring the true life story to the screen. Deadline Hollywood reports that the two are set for Happy Valley (apparently a working title, thank goodness), which will come from Joe Posnanski‘s book “Paterno,” with Dave McKenna (American History X, Blow) currently in negotiations to script. Pacino was first attached to the project last year. The project reunites Pacino and De Palma, as the two previously collaborated on Scarface and Carlito’s Way, which worked out pretty nicely for both of them.

Matthew Lillard

Matthew Lillard

Deadline Hollywood also reports that a trifecta of awesome that you never even considered, Patrick Stewart, Carla Gugino, and Matthew Lillard, will star in Stephen Belber‘s own adaptation of his 2004 Tony-nominated play Match. The film has already started shooting in New York City, which is great news, because this little ditty sounds too intriguing to wait much longer for. In Match, “Stewart plays a reclusive, eccentric Juilliard dance instructor and former choreographer, who is visited by a  Seattle couple, (Gugino and Lillard) under the pretense of interviewing the dancer for her thesis on the New York dance movement in the 1960s. However, as the couple’s true intentions are revealed, he finds himself unable to dance around the impact of decisions he made long ago.” What could this all mean? It means we’re all super-happy that Lillard got a role in The Descendants last year, amirite?

Dylan McDermott

Dylan McDermott

So, the last time you watched Buried or that one time you watched Brake, you surely had the same thought that screenwriters Tom Doganoglu and Shane Weisfeld did – dude, what if this took place in a freezer? Sold! The pair’s new thriller, set to be directed by Mikael Salomon (director of such incredible drama like Blue Lagoon: The Awakening, Drew Peterson: Untouchable, and Who Is Clark Rockefeller?), is titled Freezer because obviously and will start filming in Canada this month because obviously and is now set to star Dylan McDermott because Dermot Mulroney was busy. The film, if you had not already guessed from that lede, is basically Buried or Brake in a goddamn freezer. McDermott will play Robert, “an everyday guy, [who] finds himself tested beyond human endurance when he awakens to find himself locked in an industrial freezer by Russian thugs. They insist he returns the $8 million dollars he stole from them, the only problem is, Robert has no idea what they are talking about.” Man, it’s always Russian thugs, isn’t it? No word on thug-casting as of yet. [Press Release, via ComingSoon]

And that is all the casting news there is because everyone else is at Sundance now.

Kate is an entertainment and culture writer and editor living in New York City. She is also a contributing writer for,,, Vulture,,, The Dissolve, Screen Crush, New York Daily News, Mental Floss, and amNY. Her previous work can also be found at MSN Movies, Boxoffice Magazine, and She lives her life like a French movie, Steve.

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