When last we spoke of Universal’s plans for a new Scarface film, it was to tell you that directors David Mackenzie (Hell or High Water) and Peter Berg (Patriot’s Day) were in talks with the studio to possibly helm the gangster flick. Universal has already set a release date of August 10, 2018 for the modern reimagining of Scarface that’s scripted by Joel and Ethan Coen and is expected to star Diego Luna (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) in the lead. Now, however, David Ayer has emerged as another prospective director.
Deadline reports that Ayer is in early negotiations to direct Scarface, but details beyond that are non-existent at this point. This isn’t the first brush with Scarface for Ayer, however; back in 2011, he was going to take a crack at the script. Here’s what he had to say about his take on the classic story steeped in immigration, the American Dream, and illicit empires:
“This is a fantasy for me. I can still remember when I saw the film at 13 and it blew my mind. I sought it out; I went after it hard. I see it as the story of the American dream, with a character whose moral compass points in a different direction. That puts it right in my wheelhouse. I studied both the original Ben Hecht-Howard Hawks movie and the DePalma-Pacino version and found some universal themes. I’m still under the hood figuring out the wiring that will translate, but both films had a specificity of place, there was unapologetic violence, and a main character who socially scared the shit out of people, but who had his own moral code. Each was faithful to the underworld of its time. There are enough opportunities in the real world today that provide an opportunity to do this right. If it was just an attempt to remake the 1983 film, that would never work.”
Fast-forward a few years and we now find Ayer with a $745.6 million earner by the name of Suicide Squad under his belt, making him a proven commodity who’s capable of pulling off tentpole pictures and hard-scrabble, blue-collar, character-focused pictures alike. This makes Ayer a pretty good fit for Scarface, but will his schedule allow it?
Ayer is currently in post-production on Bright, a bonkers modern fantasy scripted by Max Landis that stars Will Smith and Joel Edgerton and is set for a Netflix premiere this December. However, there’s also the planned Gotham City Sirens feature reuniting Ayer with Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn; that film doesn’t have a start date or release date just yet, so perhaps Scarface can get rolling relatively soon while the DC Comics villainess-focused film’s script is being polished. We’ll update we as hear more.
Here’s the official word from Universal Pictures on their Scarface film:
Universal Pictures’ UNTITLED UNIVERSAL EVENT FILM has been announced as SCARFACE and will be released on the film’s previously announced date: Friday, August 10, 2018.
An explosive reimagining of one of the most iconic sagas in film history, Universal Pictures’ SCARFACE shoots from a script polished by four-time Academy Award® winners Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (No Country for Old Men, Fargo). A Bluegrass Films and Global Produce production, the drama will be produced by Marc Shmuger (Lucy), Scott Stuber (Ted) and Dylan Clark (Planet of the Apes series). Martin Bregman, who produced the 1983 film, serves in the same capacity in the telling of this generation’s SCARFACE, which the studio first brought to the screen in 1932.