Universal’s Scarface remake has unsurprisingly lost its Summer 2018 release date, but now has Antoine Fuqua back in talks to serve as its director. Fuqua was always passionate about this new planned iteration of the story about an American immigrant’s rise to power in the drug underworld, calling it “very timely” back in 2016. The pairing of grisly subject matter with the director of Training Day and The Equalizer seemed a perfect match on paper, but Fuqua’s commitment to The Equalizer 2 forced him to drop out of the project.
The Scarface remake subsequently received a rewrite by the Coen Brothers, themselves no strangers to hard-boiled gangster flicks and crime epics. Training Day writer David Ayer then became attached to oversee the movie, with the intention of putting his own pulpy spin on the narrative. Things didn’t work out though and Fuqua is now getting back in the saddle, even as Universal formally moves the project off its 2018 release slate and into “TBA” territory.
Ayer actually worked on the script for an earlier iteration of the Scarface remake that David Yates was going to direct, well before Fuqua entered the picture. Throughout all the rewrites and director changeups, the screenplay’s one constant has been its focus on a young Mexican immigrant who becomes a major kingpin in the deadly modern world of Mexican drug cartels. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s Diego Luna was attached to star in the film once upon a time but Deadline is reporting that his current status is “uncertain”, due to the film’s changing production timeline.
Scarface‘s Los Angeles setting is familiar territory for Fuqua and brings him back to his roots in the crime genre, after having tried his hand at genres such as sports/boxing drama (Southpaw), western (The Magnificent Seven), and lone gunman thriller with The Equalizer movies and Olympus Has Fallen. The director prefers to move swiftly from one project to another, as evidenced by the fact that he’s averaged a film a year since 2013. Coupled with his familiarity with this venture, that’s all the more reason for Universal to entrust him to get its belated remake off the ground and running at long last.
Fuqua’s genre efforts tend to be thin on substance (with exceptions), but Scarface could easily buck that trend given the timeliness of its storyline. The 1932 and 1983 versions of Scarface addressed relevant topics back in their day too (Prohibition era bootlegging and the cocaine/crack epidemic, respectively), so this is one remake that could feasibly bring something new to the table. That’s assuming it actually makes its way out of pre-production this time, anyway.
We will keep you posted on the Scarface remake’s status as more information becomes available.
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