Don’t shed any tears for Joe Posnanski…
Sure the former Kansas City Star sports scribe took it up the you-know-what last year for giving disgraced Penn State football coach Joe Paterno kid glove treatment in his book “Paterno.”
That after holing up with the Paterno family in State College, Pa. in the months leading up to and at the time the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke in late 2011. The rest is history as Paterno’s statue was taken down by Penn State as his sterling reputation lay in tatters.
Try finding a review that doesn’t bag on Posnanski for whitewashing Paterno’s role in covering up the scandal.
But forget all of that now…
Because movie director Brian DePalma has inked a deal for a movie about Paterno based on Posnaski’s book starring Al Pacino.
“The movie deal is probably being controlled by the publisher (Simon & Shuster),” says Craig Glazer who sold his story to a publisher and has a movie deal in the works. “So yes, Joe will get some money but probably not as much as he might have otherwise.”
That said, there’s more to Posnanski landing a sexy movie deal than getting a fat paycheck, Glazer says.
“Do I think Joe’s gonna get a nice payday? Yeah, but not from the movie. There’s what you call hidden money. Like he may get another book deal where he might get a huge payday on his second book.”
As for how much Posanski may bank on the movie deal, “I don’t know,” Glazer says. “But I’m going to say low six-figures minimal – it could be much better – but there are a lot of ways to skin the cat.
“Joe could be hired as a consultant to work with Pacino and the director in order for them to learn more about how Paterno would respond things, how he spoke, how he dressed. A guy like DePalma is going to want to know all he can about Paterno. So at a minimum, Joe will probably get some kind of consulting deal.”
Despite getting panned by critics, Posnanski’s “Paterno” made it to No. 1 on the New York Times best seller list.
“All of that panning goes out the window when Al Pacino and Brian DePalma say they’re going to make a movie,” Glazer says. “From a business standpoint it doesn’t matter anymore that the book was panned. It’s a best seller and now he’s got a movie deal.
“This is great news for Joe. He’s now a player in the game. Whether he makes $100,000 or whatever on this movie deal, this is going to propel him into writing his next book which may be about somebody else like Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds or Lance Armstrong.
“If I’m one of them, I’m on the phone to this guy. Tiger Woods, Mike Tyson - they all want a cleansing and Joe Posnanski can provide that with a best selling book and a movie. If I’m one of those guys I want Joe Posnanski to write my book. To tell you the truth, he’s probably going to have to decide which one of those guys he will write about next.”
Glazer has a hard time believing Posnanski was paid $750,000 for writing “Paterno.”
“My gut is that’s an awfully big payday for someone writing their first big book,” Glazer says. “My guess would be more like $250,000. But make no mistake, Joe Posnanski won. He’s now a winner, no matter what they paid him for the movie.”