‘Scarface’ Remake Hires Chilean Director Pablo Larrain – But Tony Will Be Mexican (Exclusive)

'Scarface' Remake Hires Chilean Director Pablo Larrain – But Tony Will Be Mexican (Exclusive)

The director of “No” and “Tony Manero” is in negotiations to take the reins of Universal's classic immigrant tale

Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín (“No”) is in negotiations to direct the new “Scarface” movie for Universal Pictures and Marc Shmuger's Global Produce, TheWrap has learned.

“Scarface” will reimagine the core immigrant story told in both the 1932 and 1983 films. Universal's update will be an original story set in modern day Los Angeles that follows a Mexican immigrant's rise in the criminal underworld as he strives for the American Dream.

Two-time Oscar nominee Paul Attanasio (“Donnie Brasco”) wrote the current draft of the screenplay.

Also read: ‘Scarface’ Gang Thanks Spielberg & Scorsese for Early Support at Reunion Bash

Marc Shmuger, who won this year's PGA Award for Best Documentary (“We Steal Secrets”), is producing the film under his Global Produce banner along with Marty Bregman, who produced the 1983 movie.

The filmmakers plan to cast an authentic Latino who is bilingual and bicultural as the lead character, whose name will be Tony, though his last name won't be Camonte (1932) or Montana (1983). While Oscar Isaac, Edgar Ramirez and Michael Pena rank among Hollywood's top Latino stars who are age-appropriate for the role, the producers are also open to casting a complete unknown in the name of authenticity.

Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson co-directed the 1932 “Scarface” starring Paul Muni and produced by Howard Hughes. The original movie, which followed an Italian immigrant's rise to power in Chicago, is now considered a landmark gangster film. It drew controversy for its violence and sat on a shelf for more than a year as the filmmakers made the edits necessary to secure distribution. Even then, a dozen states refused to show it theatrically.

Also read: Universal Sets Up Yet Another ‘Scarface’

“Scarface” was then remade in 1983 by director Brian De Palma and writer Oliver Stone, who updated the story to follow a Cuban immigrant's (Al Pacino) epic rise to power in Miami.

The new “Scarface” will be a more mythic origin story that explores where Tony's physical and emotional wounds come from and how they shaped him as a man.

Larraín won the coveted job with his commanding and passionate vision. An insider told TheWrap that Larraín really connected to the material and, as someone who has never worked within the Hollywood studio system, he brought an outsider perspective that allowed him to relate to the main character and his narrative.

Also read: Universal Sets Limited Re-Release of ‘Scarface’

“Harry Potter” filmmaker David Yates had previously been in negotiations to direct but his commitment to “Tarzan” prevented him from signing on.

Universal executives Jon Mone and Jay Polidoro will oversee “Scarface” for the studio.

Larraín is the acclaimed director of “Tony Manero” and the 2012 Gael Garcia Bernal movie “No,” which was nominated for the foreign language Oscar. At Cannes, the film won the Art Cinema Award — the top prize in the festival's Directors’ Fortnight.

Larraín, who is currently directing an opera in Chile, is repped by CAA and Management 360.

  • Jim

    “Say hello to my little friend! (pause) And his little friend!”

  • Can't Wait

    wow – an ambitious, classy, uncynical choice. hard to imagine a better filmmaker for the material. kudos to Shmuger and Universal on the start of a prestigious franchise.

  • NO fan

    psyched!!!

  • Scarface Fan

    Incredible choice on Uni and Shmger's part. Pablo is a talent.

  • Manny

    Pablo is the man. Who knew studios actually had taste?

  • Kevin

    AWESOME!!!!!!!!

  • infamouscrimes

    Lame-o. I boycott all unoriginal remakes, re-imaginings, and reboots.

    • Caelus Champion

      So you didn't watch the De Palma version with Al Pacino? That's a shame man it's quite good.

  • freshness

    Pablo's incredible. Excited for his studio debut.

  • MM

    Don't call it Scarface!

  • tommythepower

    You stupid fucking retards gonna make a remake of one of the greatest movies ever make just to try and get a quick profit.This garbage is doomed to be crap compared to the original. Hollywood suck so hard these days with remakes.

    • Caelus Champion

      You don't even know what the original is

  • bbnbleedblue

    So a remake of a remake?

  • SW

    This sounds like a really interesting choice. I'm curious to see how it turns out.

  • Caelus Champion

    I don't think most of you understand that pretty much every story that has ever been told is borrowed from something in the Bible or in the works of William Shakespeare. So do yourself a favor and chill out because you're giving yourself a headache and making yourself look dumb, unless you're into that kind of thing.