Universal’s long-in-the-works Scarface remake – now being referred to as a reboot – may finally be moving forward. Luca Guadagnino, Oscar-nominated for Call Me By Your Name and having already dabbled in rejigs of classic films with 2018’s Suspiria, has signed on to direct the project.
This new film is a reimagined version of the immigrant story that was previously told in the 1932 Howard Hawks and 1983 Brian De Palma films, set in Los Angeles. The film has been in the works for years, cycling through various directors.
David Ayer signed on to pen the script in 2011. Filmmakers such as David Yates and Antoine Fuqua attached themselves before departing over the years, and in 2017 Ayer signed on to direct as well. He left the project the same year, reportedly because his script was “too dark” for Universal, an odd comment considering this is Scarface we’re talking about. Have you seen the De Palma version?
Yet this may have all turned out for the best, as the latest version of the script was written by Joel and Ethan Coen of all people. The filmmakers have gotten into the habit of writing screenplays they don’t intend to direct over the last few years, such as Unbroken for Angelina Jolie and Bridge Of Spies for Steven Spielberg.
If this is the final set of creative talent for the film, Guadagnino directing a film penned by the Coens will have been worth the long wait in development hell. It will be fascinating to see how a version of Scarface works in the 2020s.
Naturally this isn’t the only project Guadagnino has in the works. He’s currently in post-production on the HBO limited series We Are Who We Are, while he’s also got another remake on the horizon – he seems to have a thing for them – in the form of Lord Of The Flies. There’s also the small matter of the possible Call Me By Your Name sequel, which is probably a ways off for now.
Considering its budget and IP, Scarface will be a priority for Universal, so expect it to be Guadagnino’s next big screen project. We will excitedly wait to see what he and the Coens can come up with.