Back in 2011, the world found out that Universal Pictures was developing a remake of Scarface. Ever since, fans of the 1983 Al Pacino film have been on high-alert, hoping that this sacrilege would fall apart before it gathered any steam. Alas, word just broke that the project is still very much alive and has brought a new writer onboard.
In the years following the 2011 announcement, writers like Paul Attanasio (Donnie Brasco) and David Ayer (Training Day, Suicide Squad) have taken cracks at the script. The film is said to be not a straight-up remake of the Pacino film, just as that film wasn't a remake of the 1932 original that starred Paul Muni. Those two films told the basic story of the rise and fall of an immigrant that came to America and became a gangster. Both were products of their time. The 1932 film was set in Chicago, dealt with prohibition, and the characters were Irish and Italian. The Pacino film famously explored Miami, cocaine, and Cuban crime lords.
While it's unknown what era, and what type of crime world the new film would explore, we do know it will be set in Los Angeles, and we now know who's been hired to bring it to life: Jonathan Herman. Herman is considered a rising star, despite only having one professional writing credit. The credit in question may be just what the studio needed to see, though, because it's Straight Outta Compton. Could that be a clue as to what world the remake will explore? Compton will tell the story of the notorious west coast rap group, NWA.
NWA famously rose up from the mean streets of Compton, and perhaps Herman has demonstrated that he understands that world of hip-hop and the undercurrent of crime that permeated that era. It would be a wise move since Pacino's Scarface is a cult figure in many hip-hop circles, with many famous rappers referencing the film in their lyrics and touting it as a favorite on your average episode of MTV Cribs. Making a Scarface film that explores that world could be a considered a slam dunk by which ever executive pitched it. We shall see.
Chilean director Pablo Larraín (Tony Manero) has been tapped to helm the film.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter