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Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Scarface

As has been much reported in Hollywood over the last year, Universal Pictures is poised (much to the dismay of both movie geeks and…slightly cooler movie geeks alike) to release an updated Scarface film. The project has been described as neither a sequel nor a remake of either of the two previous versions of the film — the lesser known of which was first released in 1932 and loosely based on the life of Al Capone, the other being the considerably more acclaimed 1983 version, often cited among Al Pacino‘s career-defining roles — but rather, a new original story altogether.

Replete with both fresh characters and a reimagined narrative, the task of penning the new story had initially been left to David Ayer (who’s previous credits include Training Day and The Fast And The Furious), however, it was recently announced that famed Donnie Brasco scribe Paul Attansio had been hired to begin rewriting the original draft. The project is still considered to be in development, but has been tentatively scheduled for release sometime in 2014. No word on who will be directing, and details on the cast have been speculative at best.

Given the enduring popularity of the beloved Brian DePalma directed, Oliver Stone-written 1983 incarnation of the film, the seemingly careful consideration being shown to the script is both wise and necessary. The cultural significance of Tony Montana–the charismatic Cuban refugee/drug lord with endearingly sociopathic tendencies who is the film’s protagonist–has only grown over the years. For many, the oft-quoted Tony represents the plight of the underdog and what can best be described as the “ultimate come-up.” The ceaseless fascination with the character in the hip-hop world alone has already seen the fictional Tony practically elevated to martyr-like status.

While the central character of the updated Scarface is unlikely to ever match, let alone surpass, the impact of the original Montana one, the conception and, perhaps more importantly, the casting of the new lead is pivotal to the success of the picture. In any case, given the the strong opinions around the remake, it would probably be best to keep Zoe Saldana away from this one.

spotted at DL

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