Antoine Fuqua is back in talks to direct Universal’s remake of SCARFACE, which has been removed from the studio’s 2018 release calendar, the Tracking Board has confirmed. That delay may create a “scheduling conflict” for Diego Luna, who was never right for this movie to begin with — something that Fuqua likely already knew.
Numerous scribes have had a hand in the screenplay, including David Ayer, Jonathan Herman and the Coen brothers. Ayer was even going to direct at one point, though he eventually left the project due to “scheduling conflicts,” a catch-all term that provides cover for an unlimited number of industry issues.
I don’t normally advocate for remakes, but the time is right for a new Scarface — one that will take place in contemporary Los Angeles, and follow a Mexican immigrant’s violent journey from rags to riches.
Dylan Clark and Marty Bregman will produce, while Netflix’s Scott Stuber will executive produce under the terms of his old deal with Universal, which had slated Scarface for an Aug. 10 release. I asked Universal about the release date last month, when it became apparent it would take a miracle from God for this film to make that date, but at the time, I was told there was no change in the schedule. So much for that plan! Schedules, you see, are made to be broken.
Listen, this is a trilogy of good news for Universal and this picture as a whole. For starters, I always liked the idea of Fuqua directing this movie. He’ll bringing a gritty yet grounded edge to this project. Next, I’m glad the studio opted not to rush this remake in order to make a completely arbitrary release date. And finally — and perhaps most importantly — if Fuqua’s pending hiring and the subsequent delay means Luna is forced to abandon the project, that’s the best thing for everyone.
Diego Luna was all wrong for Scarface from the very start, and I’m almost certain that was one of Fuqua’s requirements for re-engaging with this project. He inherited Luna, who was riding high off his turn in Rogue One, but that heat has cooled considerably, even with a role in upcoming films from Barry Jenkins and, uh, Woody Allen. I guess that’s what a Flatliners remake will do to you.
Now, if Luna should officially bail, which hasn’t happened yet, then Fuqua will have to go back to the drawing board. I can’t say whether the next actor will be an improvement or not, but given Fuqua’s knack for outside-the-box casting — remember a wheelchair-bound Snoop Dogg in Training Day, along with Macy Gray and Dr. Dre? — I’m confident that he’ll be able to find someone else who is more appropriate for the role.
As for Luna, he has already signed on to tackle similar material by joining the fourth season of Narcos on Netflix, so maybe Scarface would feel repetitive and he’s simply no longer interested in taking on such an iconic role. The full truth likely won’t come out until long after this film is ultimately released.
Fuqua is currently wrapping up The Equalizer sequel starring Denzel Washington. He’s represented by CAA.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief