The popularity of Breaking Bad — a sort of alternate Scarface where a Regular American becomes a totally compromised drug trade figure — is probably all Universal needs as encouragement to make a new take on Scarface. Well, that and the enduring popularity of images related to the 1983 film directed by Brian De Palma starring Al Pacino.

Universal has been cooking up a new take on the story of an immigrant’s rise to criminal power, and now has a new writer on board to get the picture closer to a green light.

Deadline reports that Paul Attanasio (Donnie Brasco) has been set to rewrite David Ayer‘s draft. The contemporary take on Scarface will feature “an outsider, an immigrant, [who] 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 previous two versions of Scarface featured a lead who was from Italy (the 1932 version) and Cuba (De Palma’s take). Universal isn’t revealing yet where the new guy will be from, or precisely how the story will play out. But Scarface is a pretty classic, simple tale, so the basic beats should all be pretty familiar. There will undoubtably be contemporary issues woven into this one — America’s complicated take on legal and illegal immigration, perhaps — but whether the film will be more than a gangland thrill ride remains to be seen. Attanasio’s experience writing for Homicide might lead him to make a topical, relevant version.

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