It’s been over a year since any significant traction was made on the most recent remake the 1930s gangster picture Scarface. Rumors that Mexican actor Diego Luna had nabbed the role of refugee turned drug kingpin Tony Montana were the most recent developments. We even offered up our own casting suggestions to help get the film underway. Now, it’s been announced that Mexican-born screenwriter Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer will take a turn at getting a working script together.
Dunnet-Alcocer is the first Latino scribe to attempt at getting this project off the ground after previous scripts by David Ayer and the Coen brothers were deemed unusable. Dunnet-Alcocer is best known as the screenwriter for the upcoming remake of Miss Bala starring Gina Rodriguez. He also wrote and directed the 2014 short film Contrapelo.
The production on this incarnation of the film has been troubled, to say the least. In 2014, Chilean director Pablo Larrain took the reins as director. After he left the project David Ayer decided to take over. Then Antoine Fuqua came to the project where he’s currently the longest lasting contender. He left the project last year but recently came back on-board within the last month. With the announcement of Dunnet-Alcocer revising the script there’s been no word on whether Diego Luna is staying in the lead role. It’s said this version will move things to modern-day Los Angeles with the new Tony Montana being a Mexican immigrant trying to find his own iteration of the American Dream.
This is the third time the Scarface story has been told starting with the 1932 feature starring Paul Muni. Fifty-one years later the film was remade into the version that is best known to audiences, with Al Pacino playing the Cuban Montana. Despite the ’83 film’s popularity, many consider it a gross example of Hollywood whitewashing. Since many people forget how the story changed between the first two versions, (the protagonist went from Italian to Cuban) the fact that the remake’s release coincided with the rise of Cuban immigration during the eighties is often overlooked. It’s not a stretch to say that the ever-changing nationality of the lead gangster in subsequent versions is tied to whichever country’s immigrants act as a scapegoat at the time. Considering the US’ fraught tensions with Mexico this version of Scarface could either finally get at the heart of why the story is compelling for minorities, or continue to be a backward and stereotypical look at Latinos….if it ever gets made.