May 20, 2017
‘Scarface’ Back on Track With ‘Suicide Squad’ Director
Universal is still set on remaking Scarface again. While the first redo starring Al Pacino didn’t arrive until 51 years after the Howard Hawks original, the next will come out only 35 years later. If the studio can get the project going on time for its August 10, 2018, release date, that is. Although they have a script and star in place, as well as a sure-thing title, they’re still currently without a director.
Let’s look at a timeline to remind us what’s been going on:
April 1932: The first Scarface hits theaters with Paul Muni in the lead as “Tony Camonte” and a story inspired by the life of Al Capone.
December 1983: Brian De Palma’s remake, written by Oliver Stone, opens with Pacino playing Cuban refugee turned gangster “Tony Montana.”
September 2011: Universal announces a new Scarface is in the works that “will not be a remake or a sequel, but will instead attempt to tell a new story using the recurring themes from the two earlier versions.”
August 2013: Harry Potter director David Yates is reportedly in talks to direct Scarface despite already being attached to a straight Capone biopic called Cicero. Rumor has it that the “reboot” will involve a Mexican drug cartel.
March 2014: With Yates focusing on The Legend of Tarzan, now Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain is tapped to direct off a script by Paul Attanasio about a Mexican immigrant named Tony who becomes a drug kingpin in Los Angeles.
August 2016: Larrain apparently dropped out, perhaps to instead take over Jackie, because Antone Fuqua is now in talks to direct Scarface. Jonathan Herman is reportedly the latest screenwriter, taking over from drafts by Attanasio and David Ayer.
September 2016: Terence Winter gives the script a polish, according to IMDbPro.
January 2017: Fuqua drops out to focus on The Equalizer 2 as Diego Luna is cast as the lead. Universal still hopes to begin filming in the Spring.
February 2017: The Coen Brothers are revealed to have given the latest polish to the script as Universal officially begins pre-production on the movie.
And now, in May 2017, Deadline reports that the movie is still scheduled for August 10, 2018, with a new director in talks for the job: Suicide Squad helmer David Ayer.
Interstingly, he would be replacing Fuqua, who directed Training Day off his script (Ayer also helmed some episodes of the Training Day TV series). He certainly knows much of the project already, as he’s part of that timeline above as one of its earlier screenwriters. But he also has a good amount on his plate already, most notably another DC Extended Universe movie in Gotham City Sirens.
This late in the game, Universal is likely looking to lock in someone who can get to work immediately, so if Ayer is talking to the studio he must have an open window. However, given that he’s the fourth director to be linked to the Scarface reboot (that we know of), we can’t be sure until we see him literally on the set calling “action!”