Fresh off a solid first weekend gross for The Magnificent Seven, director Antoine Fuqua is turning his attention to the Scarface remake that he’s now working on. This new take on the tale is said to take place in Los Angeles and focus on the story of a Mexican immigrant. While this new Scarface has two great films to live up to, it should be interesting to learn who else will be involved.
The role of Tony, played in the 1932 film by Paul Muni and later by Al Pacino in Brian De Palma’s 1983 version, will surely have everyone’s attention. However, there’s also the matter of the screenplay. 1983’s remake was scripted by Oliver Stone and now it’s being reported that this upcoming version has a screenwriter attached – someone who is also well-versed in gangster genre material.
Variety reports that Terence Winter, the man who created Boardwalk Empire and worked on The Sopranos, has been hired on to polish the current script draft for Scarface, as was written by Jonathan Herman. Winter is coming off of the HBO series Vinyl and an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Wolf of Wall Street. Herman is also coming off of an Oscar nomination for his hand in writing the screenplay for Straight Outta Compton.
That is quite the writing pedigree and certainly seems fitting, given the subject matter of Scarface. It bodes well for what to expect from another adaptation of this timeless story about a criminal who goes from rags to riches. This also means audiences can at least expect a film that should likely hold onto the template that made both previous films controversial in their day. Director Howard Hawks saw his 1932 film banned in various locations due to its violent content. De Palma faced issues for his supposed glamorization of drug use and the extreme violence featured in the film. Regardless, both films are now considered classics.
In addition to some objection of there being another remake of Scarface at all, one also has to wonder if this film will really still be able to push any boundaries. Not that a new Scarface needs to rely solely on its violent and objectionable portrayal of gangsters to be effective, but ideally there is more going on to make a film like this feel relevant. Fuqua has spoken on how to make that possible though, so hopefully there will be more going on, as opposed to Magnificent Seven, which played things straight, without any hint of subtext. Having Winter on board with Herman, however, does inspire thought that whatever comes from this new take on Scarface should amount to something substantial, in addition to reworking a classic character study.
We’ll bring you more information on the new Scarface as it becomes available.