Thirty four years after its release, Brian De Palma’s Scarface has inspired generations of hustlers, rappers, small-time slingers, and wannabe gangsters with its epic, archetypal tale of one man’s brutal rise to power. Which is to say, of course, that the beloved story is ripe for Hollywood’s copy/paste machine to milk for a few hundred million dollars more.
Unsurprisingly, a remake has already been on the table for at least 3 years, when Chilean auteur Pablo Larraín was briefly signed on to direct, though little more was known about the project until another director dropped out this week. Yet, the big news is not so much that Antoine Fuqua opted out to focus on a follow up to The Equalizer, but rather that Diego Luna is already attached in the role of Scarface. Variety reports that an unnamed source passed on the intel that the Rogue One star signed on to the project, but this piece of info remains unconfirmed.
But before you go imagining your second-favorite charolastra pumping an automatic weapon in a pristine linen suit, it seems this time around Scarface will be neither a Miami Cuban named Tony Montana nor a Chicago Italian named Tony Camonte, as in the 1932 original. Instead, Luna is slated to play a Mexican immigrant to Los Angeles who presumably follows a similar arc of bloody ambition.
With a screenplay written by Boardwalk Empire creator Terrence Winter, the project will undoubtedly have that classic gangster touch, though it’s not clear whether Winter will level the implicit critique of materialism and the American dream that Oliver Stone brought to the 1983 version. As recently as 2014, the project was described as a journey into the psychological origins of this Scarface figure, rather than a strict rise-to-power narrative, though at that time an entirely different screenwriter was behind the script.
Now, after so much back-and-forth, perhaps the real question is not what the new version will look like, but whether it will ever get made.