Al Pacino kicks off filming as disgraced coach Joe Paterno

On Saturday, HBO released a first-look photo of Al Pacino as disgraced Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno in its new biopic.

And on Monday the 77-year-old star was spotted in character filming in the Harlem neighborhood of New York.

The veteran actor turned up on set in a black jacket, white T-shirt, black pants and black sneakers with his eyes covered by dark glasses.

He changed into a black pea coat, which he wore over a grey sweatshirt and white shirt, with khaki pants and black shoes. 

On set:Al Pacino started work on the HBO biopic about disgraced Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno in New York on Monday

On set:Al Pacino started work on the HBO biopic about disgraced Penn State University head football coach Joe Paterno in New York on Monday

In character as Joe: The 77-year-old swapped his black jacket and pants for a black pea coat, which he wore over a grey sweatshirt and white shirt, with khaki pants and black shoes

In character as Joe: The 77-year-old swapped his black jacket and pants for a black pea coat, which he wore over a grey sweatshirt and white shirt, with khaki pants and black shoes

Al swapped his shades for prescription glasses as he walked along with earbuds in, listening intently to his cell phone. 

HBO's project about the Penn State sex scandal is directed and executive produced by another heavyweight, Barry Levinson, according to Variety. 

Kicking it off: The actor is filming in the Harlem neighborhood 

Kicking it off: The actor is filming in the Harlem neighborhood 

Formerly called Happy Valley in its 2014 incarnation, HBO has yet to confirm whether that will remain its name.

Back in 2011, Paterno's assistant coach, Jerry Sandusky, was arrested and charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse of young boys.

A probe by former FBI director Louis Freeh concluded in July 2012 that Paterno concealed facts relating to Sandusky's sexual abuse of young boys.

It also revealed that Paterno may have persuaded university officials not to

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