Scarface is about to make his return to the big screen. Universal Pictures has found a director to helm their upcoming remake of Scarface in No’s Pablo Larrain. The rags to riches gangster tale is rumored to follow a Mexican immigrant’s rise and subsequent fall from power in present day Los Angeles. This will be the third time Scarface has graced the big screen.
The original film was directed by the innovative Howard Hawks. Released back in 1932, Scarface was a gangster film the world had never seen before. In the film, Antonio ‘Tony’ Camonte, a ruthless and insanely violent Italian gangster who does whatever he must to climb the crime ladder to become kingpin before his inevitable downfall. In 1994, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Liberty of Congress for being culturally, historically and aesthetically significant.
The more well known version of Scarface’s rags to riches tale came in 1983 which found director Brian De Palma remake the classic film. In the Oliver Stone scripted piece, Al Pacino starred as Tony Montana, a Cuban immigrant’s brutal battle in an attempt to truly capture and live the American dream. Brian De Palma’s Scarface was infamous at the time of release for its graphic violence, pervasive language and drug content. The gangster film has become incredible popular and influential since its release particularly in the hip-hop and rap communities. The American Film Institute selected De Palma’s Scarface in 2008 as the tenth best gangster film in the genre. In 2006, Scarface saw a video game sequel entitled Scarface: The World Is Yours that preposes the concept that Tony Montana did not die in his mansion and instead, lived to climb his way back up to the top of his once owned empire.
Producers Martin Bregma and Marc Schmuger are pushing forward the third big screen adaptation of Scarface. Schmuger was a producer on De Palma’s version and has stated that while the lead character’s last name will be different, his first name will be Tony just like in the previous incarnations. The most recent draft of the script was written by Paul Attansiao. Attansiao has been nominated twice in his career, first coming in 1995 from the Robert Redford drama Quiz Show and then again in 1998 for Johnny Depp, Al Pacino true crime thriller Donnie Brasco. Prior to Pablo Larrain’s involvement in Scarface, both David Yates and David Ayer were rumored to possibly helm the third interpretation of the gangster tale.
Pablo Larrain made a big splash in many critic circles this past year with the release of his 2012 drama No starring Gael Garcia Bernal. No is about one man’s campaign to overcome Augusto Pinochet during Chile’s 1988 referendum. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at this year’s Academy Awards. Larrain initially won international critical acclaim with his debut feature film Fuga released in 2006.
With Universal Pictures finding Pablo Larrain to helm the Scarface remake, production moves another step closer. The studio has not yet announced a release window for the film.
By Benjamin Murray