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Universal brings on a new scribe to polish David Ayer's script for modern-day Scarface redo

Oct. 17, 2012by: Alejandro Stepenberg

Scarface red letter title

Here's something you might (or might not) have forgotten about the Brian De Palma/Al Pacino singular piece of pop-culture presence: it's a remake. The first version hit theaters in 1932, and there was a certain amount of dissension and annoyance and disbelief when the early eighties rolled around and somebody started talking about sending the story in a new direction.  Cue today, when a modern-day remake of the movie (first reported on back in 2011) gains steam with the addition of a new writer.

Originally written by David Ayer (END OF WATCH, TRAINING DAY), the script will now receive a new draft from Paul Attanasio (DONNIE BRASCO, THE SUM OF ALL FEARS).  The project is actually meant more to fit under the banner of "reimagining" than those of "remake" or "sequel," as it will retain elements shared between the original two films and then do its own thing after that. The new main character will also be "an outsider, an immigrant, barges his way into the criminal establishment in pursuit of a twisted version of the American dream, becoming a kingpin through a campaign of ruthlessness and violent ambition."  Universal isn't saying just yet from where the new Tony-like character will hail, but we've already seen two different stories heavily informed by the character's origin so its safe to say that this choice is a particularly critical one to the story as a whole.  The 1932 version of the story showcased an Italian gent's take-over Chicago while the 1983 version was the tale of a Cuban immigrant cornering Miami's cocaine trade, so it will definitely be interesting to see what route they take this and the side of the US they choose to highlight.

It seems this project definitely on track to well and truly happenining.  I personally don't love the De Palma version enough to consider it any sort of hallowed ground, and I think the argument can be convincingly made that the story works better as a reflection of its times than as merely a standalone cautionary tale.  Which is my roundabout way of saying I don't immediately hate this idea.  At all actually.  So there's that. 

More as it comes.

Michelle Pfeiffer young black and white

SCARFACE star Michelle Pfeiffer: foxy then, foxy now.

Extra Tidbit: The 1983 version of SCARFACE has sold more than 10 million DVDs worldwide.

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11:12AM on 03/25/2014

just saying

After Alvarez with Evil Dead and Padilha with RoboCop it seems to be something going on in Hollywood with latin american directors and 80s classics remakes....
After Alvarez with Evil Dead and Padilha with RoboCop it seems to be something going on in Hollywood with latin american directors and 80s classics remakes....
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2:19PM on 10/17/2012

gay

Scarface is great but it's HEAVILY pinned to it's time.

The little friend he'd have now would take the whole house down.

Nuke this project.
Scarface is great but it's HEAVILY pinned to it's time.

The little friend he'd have now would take the whole house down.

Nuke this project.
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2:05PM on 10/17/2012

Tidbit

10 million dvds doesn't sound all that impressive to me
10 million dvds doesn't sound all that impressive to me
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10:20AM on 10/17/2012
The story is a basic but great one for the movies: American dream turning into American gangster. They can remake this movie every generation with a different nationality and it would be good no matter what.

Make it a Russian kingpin in NYC.
The story is a basic but great one for the movies: American dream turning into American gangster. They can remake this movie every generation with a different nationality and it would be good no matter what.

Make it a Russian kingpin in NYC.
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9:55AM on 10/17/2012
Scarface is a cult icon, but I only can watch that movie only a few time every few years.
Scarface is a cult icon, but I only can watch that movie only a few time every few years.
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9:02AM on 10/17/2012
As a fan of both versions I'm actually quite curious about this. The most important thing is that, whoever it is, they don't dare try for Pacino's inimitable lisp, or pay homage to it in any way. But for that matter, they can toy with the idea is it the cops or a rival gangster who finally brings Tony down. I'd vote DEA. I think with Ayers' experience making him an L.A.-based hoodlum would make more sense. Or at least west-coast.
As a fan of both versions I'm actually quite curious about this. The most important thing is that, whoever it is, they don't dare try for Pacino's inimitable lisp, or pay homage to it in any way. But for that matter, they can toy with the idea is it the cops or a rival gangster who finally brings Tony down. I'd vote DEA. I think with Ayers' experience making him an L.A.-based hoodlum would make more sense. Or at least west-coast.
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8:37AM on 10/17/2012
double post, my bad.
double post, my bad.
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8:37AM on 10/17/2012
83's Scarface is one of my all time favorites, and if it has to be remade why another immigrant? why can't this movie pay tribute to all the hip hop artists that were really influenced by this movie. I would suggest that if a remake has to be made then it should be about the urban community. That just makes the most sense to me.
83's Scarface is one of my all time favorites, and if it has to be remade why another immigrant? why can't this movie pay tribute to all the hip hop artists that were really influenced by this movie. I would suggest that if a remake has to be made then it should be about the urban community. That just makes the most sense to me.
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8:28AM on 10/17/2012

Absolutely A Terrible Idea

There is absolutely NO reason to redo this movie. I'm not sure how you don't see DePalma's version "hallowed ground." You do not mess w/ a classic. This movie is a classic. You've seen how awful the prequel was. I can see it now; a toned down PG-13 version of Scarface ! Hopefully things fall through and they don't make this movie.
There is absolutely NO reason to redo this movie. I'm not sure how you don't see DePalma's version "hallowed ground." You do not mess w/ a classic. This movie is a classic. You've seen how awful the prequel was. I can see it now; a toned down PG-13 version of Scarface ! Hopefully things fall through and they don't make this movie.
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8:16AM on 10/17/2012
I'd say go with a Mexican as the immigrant this time around.
I'd say go with a Mexican as the immigrant this time around.
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