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

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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