As we reported in September, Scarface is getting remade—once again. Originally made in 1932, the film was remade in 1983 by director Brian De Palma, writer Oliver Stone, and star Al Pacino. And for some reason, Universal has decided to remake the film once again. Who has Universal entrusted to pen said remake, you ask? Following in the footsteps of Oliver Stone will be David Ayer, screenwriter of Training Day and… sigh, The Fast and The Furious. Oh, good.
Ayer, who collectively has the screenplays to The Fast and The Furious, Training Day, S.W.A.T., and the upcoming Commando remake (seriously) under his belt, will be updating the classic rise-and-fall ganger tale for a new generation. And, as was the case with the 1983 Scarface, hopefully this new generation of audience members can totally miss the point of the film and celebrate the murderously corrupt lead character as some kind of folk hero. But hey, Ayer’s excited about it:
This is a fantasy for me, I can still remember when I saw the film at 13 and it blew my mind. I sought it out; I went after it hard. I see it as the story of the American dream, with a character whose moral compass points in a different direction. That puts it right in my wheelhouse. I studied both the original Ben Hecht-Howard Hawks movie and the DePalma-Pacino version and found some universal themes. I’m still under the hood figuring out the wiring that will translate, but both films had a specificity of place, there was unapologetic violence, and a main character who socially scared the shit out of people, but who had his own moral code. Each was faithful to the underworld of its time. There are enough opportunities in the real world today that provide an opportunity to do this right. If it was just an attempt to remake the 1983 film, that would never work.
So ok, it’s not just going to capitalize on the De Palma version. That said, do we really need another rise-and-fall of a ganger film? In the last 45 years alone, we’ve had The Godfather, The Godfather II, The Godfather III, Scarface, Goodfellas, Casino, The Sopranos, and The Wire. Do we really need this story again?
What do you think about the Scarface remake news?