The long-gestating Scarface remake sees Antoine Fuqua reenter talks to direct a new version of the classic rags-to-riches crime saga.

News David Crow

Feb 26, 2018

The say the world is yours, and you make what you will with it. Sometimes that means a whole lot of crime for the more morally lax of us, and sometimes it means dropping out of a Scarface remake only to return to it some years later. Indeed, the Scarface remake is gaining steam yet again, but since the last two film versions of it have been so good, this is hardly anything to sneeze white powder at. Perhaps especially so if Universal succeeds at luring Antoine Fuqua back to the director’s chair.

A report came late Monday evening out of Deadline that claims Universal Pictures is back in talks with Fuqua to return to a project he previously vacated (and has since languished, failing to make its slated Aug. 10, 2018 releaes date). Fuqua was previously attached to the project before leaving in favor of The Equalizer franchise. Since his departure, he has made The Equalizer and The Magnificent Seven with Denzel Washington. Universal meanwhile has gone through several potential directors, including a rumored David Mackenzie and Peter Berg at various points. As the film’s 2018 release date also seemed briefly plausible, Diego Luna (Rouge One: A Star Wars Story) was even circling star before the remake lost steam yet again. It is now unclear whether Luna would still star as the latest version of Tony.

In an earlier press release that Universal revealed the film last year, it was said the shooting script was written by Joel and Ethan Coen, who’ve known their way around crime dramas in the past, having previously penned and helmed Fargo and No Country for Old Men. That is a major vote of confidence for a film that has to face an uphill struggle in credibility given the cult classic status of the 1983 Scarface picture, which was directed by Brian De Palma, written by Oliver Stone, and featured a legendarily grandiose performance by Al Pacino.

While some may be aghast that any would attempt to replace Pacino’s Tony Montana, many have forgotten that his Scarface is itself a remake of an equally controversial (for its time) gangster picture from 1932. Starring Paul Muni as that Tony, the film was directed by Howard Hawks and produced by Howard Hughes. It is considered one of the first major violent, tough guy pictures out of Hollywood that brought down the weight of the then nascent censor board, butchering Hawks’ original (and better) ending.

So let’s see how this one goes too. Assuming of course that it ever gets made.