Over the decades, a number of people have been attached to the various iterations of the Scarface reboot, including Suicide Squad director David Ayer.
Although David Ayer exited the Scarface reboot in 2017, he told Total Film that he still regards the unmade script as one of his best. “One of the best scripts I’ve ever written was my Scarface draft,” Ayer said. “It gets passed around in Hollywood, underground. It’s funny when people talk about the project. ‘Is it the Ayer script?’ ‘No, it’s somebody else.’ ‘Oh, OK.’”
At the time of Ayer’s exit, it was reported that his take on the script was too dark and violent for the studio, which he takes issue with. “It wasn’t too violent. Violence – I can cover it. If someone gets shot, I can photograph it where a head explodes and have a hard R, and it’s not going to alienate people. That’s easy. That’s filmmaker 101,” Ayer said. “I created this rich, soulful journey through the drug trade, and kind of what it is. The studio just wanted something more… fun.“
Luca Guadagnino wound up taking over the Scarface reboot with a new script penned by Joel and Ethan Coen. He claimed his take would be very timely. “It’s always about looking at what certain stories say about our times,” Guadagnino said in 2020. “The first ‘Scarface’ from Howard Hawkes was all about the prohibition era. Fifty years later, Oliver Stone and Brian De Palma make their version, which is so different from the Hawkes film. Both can stand on the shelf as two wonderful pieces of sculpture. Hopefully ours, forty-plus years later, will be another worthy reflection on a character who is a paradigm for our own compulsions for excess and ambition. I think my version will be very timely.” However, just like David Ayer and Antoine Fuqua before him, Guadagnino also exited the project, telling The Hindu just last month that he’s “not working on Scarface anymore.“
I have little doubt that Universal will return to Scarface at some point, but for now, the project seems to be dead.