Scarface getting a remake that's not a remake

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Jory
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22 Sep 2011, 7:17 pm

Quote:
Universal Preps New ‘Scarface’ Movie

By MIKE FLEMING | Wednesday September 21, 2011 @ 7:46pm EDT

EXCLUSIVE: Universal Pictures is developing a new version of Scarface, the title first released in 1932 and then turned into the iconic 1983 film that starred Al Pacino as Cuban gangster Tony Montana. I’d heard that the studio has been meeting writers to script a take for a film that will be produced by Marc Shmuger and his Global Produce banner along with Martin Bregman. Bregman produced the Pacino version.

The film is not intended to be a remake or a sequel. It will take the common elements of the first two films: An outsider, an immigrant, barges his way into the criminal establishment in pursuit of a twisted version of the American dream, becoming a kingpin through a campaign of ruthlessness and violent ambition. The studio is keeping the specifics of where the new Tony character comes from under wraps at the moment, but ethnicity and geography were important in the first two versions. In the 1932 Scarface, an Italian (Paul Muni) took over Chicago, and in the Brian De Palma-directed remake, a Cuban cornered the cocaine trade in 1980s Miami, only to be consumed by it. Ann Dvorak, George Raft and Boris Karloff starred in the original, and Michelle Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer and Mary Elizabeth Mastrontonio starred in the remake.

Does the Universal library title Scarface deserve an updated version for a new generation? I’m told that when Universal put together the 1983 film, there were howls of heresy; after all, the film was considered a Howard Hughes-produced classic, with a script by Ben Hecht. Howard Hawks directed it with Richard Rosson. The remake became iconic in its own way, particularly in influencing hip-hop culture. Tony Montana’s image is still widely merchandised; his signature line “Say hello to my little friend” remains the biggest-selling cell phone voice ringtone, and Universal has sold more than 10 million DVD units worldwide.


(Deadline.com link)



The_Perfect_Storm
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23 Sep 2011, 7:40 am

Should be interesting to watch.

Didn't know Pacino's was a remake. Is the original any good?



crmoore
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23 Sep 2011, 12:33 pm

Loved the '32 and the '83 versions. However, I'm going to be a little more cautious regarding this upcoming one. Back in '83, remakes weren't the Hollywood trend that they are today, not to mention that a lot more time had passed between versions. Don't get me wrong: the concept is a great story and can be awesome with the right filmmakers and actors. I guess to sum up my position on this, Universal's going to have to do a hell of a lot more to convince me that this new version will be just as good as the previous two.



Jory
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23 Sep 2011, 1:33 pm

The_Perfect_Storm wrote:
Should be interesting to watch.

Didn't know Pacino's was a remake. Is the original any good?


I haven't seen it. I was going to watch it yesterday, but YouTube has been giving me trouble and I couldn't. Maybe I'll Netflix it later. You can watch it in its entirety for free if you want to. Just do a search for "Scarface 1932" on YouTube. From what I've read, the Pacino version is only a remake in the loosest sense. The 32 version is supposedly a great movie, but film critics think that every old "classic" is great, and some of them absolutely aren't (Dracula 1931 comes to mind), so I'll judge for myself.

crmoore wrote:
Loved the '32 and the '83 versions. However, I'm going to be a little more cautious regarding this upcoming one. Back in '83, remakes weren't the Hollywood trend that they are today, not to mention that a lot more time had passed between versions. Don't get me wrong: the concept is a great story and can be awesome with the right filmmakers and actors. I guess to sum up my position on this, Universal's going to have to do a hell of a lot more to convince me that this new version will be just as good as the previous two.


I doubt it'll be anywhere near as good as the 83 version, but unlike a lot of people, I don't think remakes need to compete with their predecessors. I'll judge the new movie as if it were original. It'll all come down to who gets to make it. People have a tendency to be biased against the very idea of remakes, but any movie can be good if you give it to actors, writers, and directors who know what the hell they're doing.