scarface remake

Luca Guadagnino doesn’t play by the rulebook with his remakes. The Italian director behind Call Me By Your Name put his own spin on Dario Argento’s giallo classic Suspiria, with a much moodier, much slower take that set itself apart from the 1977 original. So you can probably count on Guadagnino to take his own liberties with the Scarface remake. But in an update on his currently in-development remake, Guadagnino teased that his Scarface may not be as different as we would think.

In an interview with BadTaste.it at the Venice Film Festival (in Italian and translated to English, via Collider), Guadagnino praised Howard Hawks’ 1932 original and Brian De Palma’s 1983 remake, before teasing that his film will tell the story of Tony Montana for current times:

“The truth is that I’m interested in the Tony Montana character. He’s a symptom of the American Dream. And I think that these movies are made for their times. My own Scarface will arrive 40 years after the previous one. I think the important thing about these movies is not the fact that they’re lush and fundamental like Brian De Palma’s one. The important thing is knowing that Tony Montana is an archetypal character.”

Tony Montana, the lead character of De Palma’s film, is partly based on Tony Camonte, the protagonist of the original novel and the 1932 film adaptation. The 1983 film also takes inspiration from Al Capone. It’s interesting that, while the 1932 film was huge in its own right when it was released, Guadagnino seems to be taking more cues from De Palma’s film, presumably because the film left such a mark on current pop culture. So how will Guadagnino set his version apart from Hawks’ and De Palma’s films, both enormously influential in their own times? Guadagnino has three keys to success, one of which includes being “shocking”:

“The important things are A. It has to be well done, the script has to be great – and it is. B. Our Tony Montana has to be current. I don’t want to imitate anything. C. This movie has to be shocking.”

Guadagnino has never shied away from shocking violence, with his horror remake Suspiria featuring plenty blood and guts (and disturbing bone-crunching deformities), so you can rely on his Scarface earning a hard R-rating.

“I told you about Suspiria and I kept the promise to you then, [and] I think I will surprise you with this movie too. Brian De Palma’s movie was Rated R, so I want a big R on my movie too,” Guadagnino promised.

It’s unclear yet when Guadagnino will get to work on his Scarface remake, but with the 40th anniversary of De Palma’s film coming up in 2023, Universal will likely want him to get started soon. Guadagnino’s newest project, the HBO limited series We Are Who We Are, premieres on September 14, 2020. He is also attached to direct a new adaptation of Lord of the Flies.

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