Sometimes it seems like movie remakes are a newer phenomenon, but the truth is that remakes have existed for almost as long as movies have. Everyone knows the 1939 version of The Wizard of Oz for example, but that was preceded by three other films based on the same novel. There are numerous movies about Dracula, but the first was the silent film Nosferatu from 1922. And while many people love the 1983 Al Pacino movie Scarface, that is also a remake, of a movie that came out in 1932.
The original film was based on a book by Amritage Trail, also titled Scarface, which was inspired by gangster Al Capone. It was produced by Howard Hughes, directed by Howard Hawk, and starred Paul Muni and Boris Karloff. After seeing the film, Pacino thought it was a good possibility for a remake, so he started making phone calls. The main character’s last name was changed from Camonte to Montana, his ethnicity was changed from Italian to Cuban, and other changes were made, but both films told the story of an immanent gangster’s rise to power and ended the same way.
Now the story is being remade again, with Diego Luna (Rogue One) playing the lead character. Recently, the film lost director Antoine Fuqua, who left the project due to an overcrowded schedule. Now it looks like the film might have found Fuqua’s replacement. According to THR, the top two contenders are Peter Berg (Lone Survivor) and David MacKenzie (Hell or High Water).
MacKenzie actually tried to get this job earlier, but the more experienced Fuqua was hired instead. Hell or High Water was his first directing job in three years, his previous film being 2013’s low-budget crime drama Starred Up. Since he first tried to become the Scarface director, Hell or High Water has been released and received strong reviews, as well as an four Oscar nominations – including Best Picture of the Year. Suddenly MacKenzie, who worked under Berg on Commancheria – the movie which became Hell or High Water – is at the top of the list for Scarface.
Berg is not to be counted out however. He’s worked for Universal before, directing both Lone Survivor and Battleship for the company. He’s also the more experienced of the two, having directing credits for every year since 2007, and a number of older credits as well. Both potential directors are having meetings with executives at Universal to determine who the next director will be.
The 1983 version of Scarface sets a high bar. It is largely considered one of the best mob films ever made, and has been an influence on numerous aspects of pop-culture for almost 35 years. The remake, which recently received a rewrite from the Cohen brothers, has a lot to live up to.
Keep reading ScreenRant for the latest news on Scarface, which is scheduled to be released in 2018.