They say any story worth telling is worth telling twice. It is an adage Hollywood heartily believes in, with an increasing number of new films being adaptations of existing IP, from comics to games, to older films. Oscar-nominated filmmaker Luca Guadagnino, the mastermind behind previous remakes including Suspiria and A Bigger Splash, inspired by La Piscine, recently revealed to Variety the intention behind his next film, which is going to be a remake of Scarface.
"People claim that I do only remakes, but the truth of the matter is cinema has been remaking itself throughout its existence. It's not because it's a lazy way of not being able to find original stories. It's alway about looking at what certain stories say about our times."
When people think of Scarface, they're usually thinking of the 1983 film starring Al Pacino playing the role of Cuban refugee Tony Montana, whose violent and colorful rise to the highest ranks as a drug lord and mob boss has become the stuff of pop-culture legend.
But the Pacino film itself was a remake of another film made back in 1932, which in turn was adapted from the 1930 novel Scarface. So the story of Tony Montana is one that has been told time and time again over the years. For Guadagnino, making another movie adaptation of the story is justified as long as the story is told well.
"The first Scarface from Howard Hawks was all about the prohibition era. Fifty years later, Oliver Stone and Brian De Palma make their version, which is so different from the Hawks film. Both can stand on the shelf as two wonderful pieces of sculpture. Hopefully ours, forty-plus years later, will be another worthy reflection on a character who is a paradigm for our own compulsions for excess and ambition. I think my version will be very timely."
The story behind making the modern remake of Scarface is almost as long and difficult as Tony Montana's own journey towards creating his criminal empire. Universal Pictures had been working on getting the remake off the ground for the past decade, but a failure to assemble a full team of interested parties from writers to directors had put the kibosh on their efforts.
Narcos: Mexico actor Diego Luna had long been attached to play the new Tony Montana in the reboot, but the process of getting the film together had taken so long that he was forced to drop out of the project. It remains to be been which new talent will be stepping into Pacino's legendary shoes to put a new spin on the legend of Tony Montana.
The new Scarface directed by Luca Guadagnino has lined up an impressive roster of talent behind its creation. Universal Pictures is serving as a production and distribution partner for the feature. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen worked on the newest version of the script, which was based on earlier drafts by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, Jonathan Herman, and Paul Attanasio.
Dylan Clark for his Dylan Clark Productions will act as producer, with Scott Stuber acting as executive producer alongside Marco Marabito and SVP Brian Williams of Dylan Clark Productions. Variety.