The new remake of Scarface continues to gather pace at Universal, and some notable pieces of news surrounding it have just come to light.
Firstly, there’s a release date. The new Scarface now has an official date of August 20th 2018. Straight away, that also suggests that the movie is going to be in physical production later this year. Diego Luna (Star Wars: Rogue One) has been confirmed in the lead role. Oh, and there’s the small matter of the Coen brothers writing the screenplay.
In a press release, Universal revealed the film will shoot from a script 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.
Further, The Hollywood Reporter is suggesting that David MacKenzie (Hell Or High Water) and Peter Berg (Patriots Day) are frontrunners to direct the film. Both of whom had critically respected, hardboiled dramas released in 2016, the former of which has seen his movie achieve a Best Picture nomination. Either would replace Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Magnificent Seven), who was attached to Scarface but had to drop out due to prior commitments with Sony’s The Equalizer sequel.
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.