This weekend's The Magnificent Seven is an interesting property in that it is a remake of a remake, which was based on the Japanese film Seven Samurai. The central story of that film has proven to be practically timeless in its appeal, and has led to the aforementioned American remakes, and a TV series. Now director Antoine Fuqua, the man responsible for the latest stab at the material, is talking up another remake of a remake...of a remake. Which film am I referring to? Scarface.
While many people consider the coked-up Al Pacino film a classic of the gangster genre, not many people realize that the 1983 flick was actually a remake of 1932's Scarface. For whatever reason, the central premise of an immigrant coming to the United States trying to get their slice of the American Dream and ultimately obtaining it by becoming a ruthless crime lord, is one that seems to have universal appeal.
Each time it gets remade, it tackles a different kind of immigrant, and it mixes in the trappings of the current sociological landscape. Fuqua says that a new take on Scarface, which would this time center on a Mexican immigrant, would be timely and relevant.
A few days ago, in a chat with Fandango, here's what Fuqua had to say about Scarface:
"I read the script they have and it’s actually really interesting and very timely. We’re dealing with a lot of stuff now coming out of Mexico. And again, we still have those issues dealing with the American Dream,' and the fact that the game is rigged, right? It’s not really an even playing field, but the promise is that it is. The promise is that everyone gets a fair shot, but that’s not always the case. So that’s always relevant, and right now with what’s happening in Mexico, which is where [the main character] comes from – he comes out of Mexico – that’s relevant, especially when you’ve got people talking about putting up walls and other kinds of stuff. We’re still dealing with immigration, we’re still dealing with what would turn someone into Scarface."
Fuqua certainly has a point, as the current geopolitical situation the United States finds itself in would provide a perfect backdrop for a new Scarface to rise.
The latest draft of the Scarface script was written by Straight Outta Compton's Jonathan Herman. When Herman signed on, some thought that meant the film would switch gears and center the story on the rise of a hip-hop crime lord, but it looks like Mexican-American relations won out as the more appealing dynamic to base the remake on.
So there was an Italian Scarface, a Cuban Scarface, now there'll be a Mexican Scarface; Perhaps in another 20-30 years there'll be a...Syrian Scarface? We shall see.