In a remake/reboot/sequel/prequelâ€“happy Hollywoodland, nothing should come as shock or surprise anymore. That said, it still doesn’t mean people will be thrilled to hear about one of these popular types of movie, especially when it involves a classic…or in this case, two of them.
It’s being reported that Universal Pictures is developing a new updated take on Scarface, which has had two previous versions of the story made: the 1932 classic starring Paul Muni and directed by Howard Hawks, and the 1983 hit starring Al Pacino and directed by Brian De Palma.
The studio isn’t calling the project a “remake” because, well, everybody hates remakes and it would be considered blasphemous, which would be bad for business. That would be my own take on the reasoning, anyway. Universal plans to take the common elements of both moviesâ€””an outsider, an immigrant, barges his way into the criminal establishment in pursuit of a twisted version of the American dream, becoming a kingpin through a campaign of ruthlessness and violent ambition”â€”and put their own spin on it, but that still sounds like a “remake” to me.
But, even if this new Scarface were a remake, would that be so bad? The ’83 Pacino version was a remake and everything seemed to work out all right for that film, but could gold be unearthed for the property a third time? Look at Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic Seven Samurai, for example, whose storyline has been used to create new films such as The Magnificent Seven and Disney*Pixar’s A Bug’s Life.
Universal is already looking for writers to adapt the story into this new take, which will be produced by Marc Shmuger and Martin Bregman. Bregman was also a producer on the ’83 version.
So what are your thoughts; can a new Scarface work? Where would you want to see the new lead character immigrate to America from, and where in the US would you want to see it set?