Universal Planning ‘Scarface’ Remake

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 22nd, 2011 at 8:02 am,

Universal Scarface Remake Universal Planning Scarface Remake

Whoever said “crime doesn’t pay” has obviously never spent time in a Hollywood board room. From heist flicks to mob epics, criminals have provided fodder for studio executives dating back to the days of silent film, and that hasn’t changed one bit in the new millennium.

Case in point, a new report reveals that Universal is planning to remake Scarface, a film that’s already been made twice before — first in 1932 and again in 1983.

As The Hollywood Reporter explains, however, this new Scarface won’t be a direct remake of the original film, or the more famous 1983 version, which starred Al Pacino as the infamous Tony Montana. Quoting the article,

Each [of the previous films] were crime sagas telling the rise and fall of a gangster, and each was a mirror of their time. The 1932 version was set in Chicago and featured bootlegging, Italians and Irish mobsters. The 1983 version was set in Latin-loving Miami and cocaine was the vice of choice.

The new Scarface is planned to be the same: a crime tale set in today’s world, offering a dark look at the American Dream.

Despite being a modern take on the story, the new movie will have some familiar producers including Martin Bregman, who produced the 1983 Brian DePalma film, and Marc Shmuger, former head of Universal.

The reason that the 1983 Scarface has been popular for so long, besides the fact that the film and its over-the-top lead character have become important cultural touchstones for the hip-hop community, is that it tells a fairly basic story. As the THR article stated, Scarface is about the dark side of the American Dream and that narrative still resonates today.

Little Friend Scarface Universal Planning Scarface Remake

Very few people will tell you that they’re not interested in becoming rich and successful, particularly in America where “rags to riches” stories are a vital part of our collective culture. The question is, what are you willing to do to get there? Would you break the rules? Would you steal? Or cheat? Or kill?

Hopefully, the answer is no, but there are always people out there who will say yes, and that deviation from the norm is what makes them compelling characters on the big screen. Tony Montana is a terrible role model, but he’s one of the most famous movie characters of all time. People will probably complain about Hollywood’s lack of creativity in redoing Scarface yet again, but if Universal has the potential to give the world another character like that, can you blame them for trying?

What do you think of a new Scarface film for a new generation of Americans?

Source: Deadline

TAGS: Scarface
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  1. Tony was just someone we all loved to watch. His, “the world is mine and everything in it.” Attitude was beyond even the American dream. I think that the only way Universal will top the last “scarface” is if they succeed in not only giving him the world, but also the revenge. Like the Scarface video game, Tony has to take it all back after the attempt on his life. (I understand that scarface is suppose to be based on the rise AND FALL of a person. ) But if you can create a great character like Tony again, he should be put into a situation where it is literally him vs the world. So I think a “get into power with the help of a great drug lord, then lose it all by betrayal, but then fight his way back against both the cops and drug god to become king of the drug cartel. ” maybe even 2 movies. The rise and fall, then the getting it all back. But the character MUST be unique. Otherwise it will be more annoying than fun to watch. Tony did a better job then Hitler of taking over the world… Lets see the next scarface actually succeed… Could you imagine a Scarface vs the Godfather kind of scenario? Villain vs villain kind of atmosphere. The “screw all the rules… I’m my own boss!” Kinda attitude is just perfect for scarface, but it will still be hard to top Tony…

    • When you say Tony you should say Montana. Both scarfaces were named Tony, being 1983 and 1932. The 1983 version took “the world is yours” and the “im my own boss” attitude from the original to keep its loyalty. Basically what I’m trying to say is that the 1983 version kept those elements because that’s what scarface was. If they go through with another version, we’d have to assume they’d keep those elements. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a scarface. It’d be more like any other movie of a man who does anything he can to gain power and money. When you say “villain vs villain” you have to realize that in both the original and the 1983 remake, both Tonys had to deal with their own kind as well as the police. Even in the end of the remake was Montana killed not by the police but instead by an assassin. The two films share a lot, when tony dies it pans out to show something along the lines of “the world is yours”, both Tonys shot and killed their sisters lovers etc. if I were to remake a newer film, I’d keep some of those elements but I’d change a lot to avoid spoiling the element of surprise. I predict they’ll change a lot from the past two. The majority of us as an audience wouldn’t want to watch the same character go through the same trials and end up with the same fate. So I dig what you say about scarface actually succeeding for once, but we have to keep in mind the main drive for the films, all bad people are stopped and killed in the end. The police officer in the 1932 original told Tony himself that one day he’d find himself without a gun and in their hands. Sure enough at the end here tony was gunless, shot, and begging not to be killed. In the end. The perfect plot that you described was the first film. Get into power with the help of a powerful mobster, gets into plenty of firefights with rival gangs, kills his boss because his boss sent men to kill him, assumes his position as boss, then fights the police until he dies. Just thought I’d give my two cents.