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Scraface poster Question Mark image Scarfec image

Written by Matthew Pejkovic


Universal Pictures have recently announced their plans to create a new Scarface movie, continuing the trend of remakes and reboots which has become the norm in Hollywood.

While many associate the Scarface brand with the cocaine snorting, f-bomb dropping exploits of Tony Montana as played by Al Pacino in the 1983 Brian De Palma cult classic, Scarface was first brought to the big screen in the 1932 Howard Hawks original which starred Paul Muni as Chicago gangster Tony Camonte.

With almost 30 years passed since the last reinterpretation, Scarface is about to get another update. Matt’s Movie Reviews lays out the best, respectable way to get it remade.




Afghanistan image

A primary factor in the Scarface movies was the ethnicity of the main character, with Tony Camonte an Italian American and Tony Montana an exile from Cuba.

For a fresh, topical approach the next protagonist should be of Middle Eastern origin, preferably from Iraq or Afghanistan who leaves behind his war torn home for the excess and opportunity that America represents.




New York post 9/11 image

The original Scarface was set in prohibition era Chicago and its remake during the excess heavy days of cocaine and really bad fashion in Miami.

Where else to place modern day Scarface than in post 9/11 New York City, where the new Tony will have to battle against prejudice against his ethnicity, as well as his competitors in the drug trade.




Heroin image

Illegal hooch and mountains of cocaine have been sold, consumed and ruined numerous lives in the Scarface films thus far. Now it’s time for heroin to rear its ugly head, with this Middle Eastern Tony using his connections in his homeland to cut out the middle man and flood the market, much to the chagrin of his competitors namely the Russian mob.




Edgar Ramirez image Tamar Rahim Mila Kunis image

Three main roles need to be filled in order for this new Scarface to succeed. The first is the main character who in this case we will call Tony Mohammed (stereotypical yes, but bear with me). Second is his best friend, muscle and lady’s man who rises to the top with Tony. Third, the woman who Tony falls for yet can’t provide any semblance of a meaningful relationship.

Both Paul Muni and Al Pacino are iconic actors whose portrayals of the Scarface character were legendary in their own right.

For Tony Mohammed to work, a gifted actor is needed to reprise the character convincingly yet do so without copying what was done before. A Prophet star Tahar Rahim (centre) is just that actor. With talent to burn and a critically acclaimed performance on his side, Rahim is worthy of carrying of the Scarface legacy and is sure to make the role his own.

Looks, brawn and loyalty are what is needed for the best friend role in Scarface, played in previous versions by George Raft and Steven Bauer.

Here an actor is needed who can play alongside Rahim and also stand out on his own. Edgar Ramirez (left) would suit the part perfectly, with his breakthrough role of Carlos the Jackal in Carlos an example of Ramirez’s vast talent which will add more credibility to this Scarface film.

Traditionally the role of the girlfriend/mole is played as a cold queen of the underworld, with Michelle Pfeiffer nailing the role in the 1983 Scarface.

Mila Kunis (right) would be a perfect fit for the third portrayal of this character, with the burgeoning actress able to play sexy, feisty and dangerous all at once.




David Michod

The two Scarface movies have been helmed by Howard Hawks and Brian De Palma respectively, two visionary directors who stamped their mark on this story.

Options are varied on who can direct the next Scarface. There is Martin Scorsese, yet his recent statements about shooting all future feature movies in 3D and his distinct style can be a distraction. Quentin Tarantino is an option, but he would no doubt fill his Scarface with “homages” to other gangster pictures. Oliver Stone (who wrote the 1983 version) is also a possibility, yet his best days are behind him and he can be too political.

The best move for this era Scarface is to hire a director who has his own distinct style, knows the crime genre and can work well with actors.

Animal Kingdom director David Michod is just that man. An up and comer, Michod has won raves and awards for his feature debut and is ready to hit the big show, with Scarface the perfect opportunity to usher him into Hollywood.      



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