The SCARFACE remake is once again looking for a new director. Universal Pictures has been working for years to put together a new take on the SCARFACE story, running through a variety of filmmakers who’ve come and gone that range from Antoine Fuqua (THE EQUALIZER) to Pablo Larrain (JACKIE), and in the early days of the project, even HARRY POTTER filmmaker David Yates. The studio aimed to try again by signing SUICIDE SQUAD director David Ayer this past spring, setting him to pen a new script for the remake which switches the Miami setting to Los Angeles.
But now THR reports that Ayer, like so many before him, has fallen off the project. Ayer’s take on the script was reportedly “too dark” for Universal’s taste (although Variety cites “scheduling issues” as the reason for his exit), which is interesting considering this is the story of a violent, misogynistic drug dealer. Ayer is known for a certain amount of grit in his screenplays for films like TRAINING DAY and END OF WATCH, but apparently Universal doesn’t want to go too dark for SCARFACE, which means we’re likely in for some lame “anti-hero” nonsense that tries to portray the protagonist as someone to root for. I was curious to see if Universal would “go there” with this new adaptation, and it sounds like they want something more palatable.
Diego Luna is still attached to lead the film, which Universal recently set for release in August 10, 2018, and now the studio will start the search anew for a director. As recently as this past February, the film had a new script by Joel and Ethan Coen, and other filmmakers they considered before Ayer included Peter Berg and HELL OR HIGH WATER director David Mackenzie, so it’ll be interesting to see if they go back to directors they spoke with in the past, or if they’ll look for someone new.
As for Ayer, it’s unclear what his next move will be. He’s wrapping up post-production on his Netflix fantasy thriller BRIGHT with Will Smith and Joel Edgerton and is attached to write and direct the DC spinoff GOTHAM CITY SIRENS starring Margot Robbie, but that movie doesn’t yet have a release date and Robbie’s schedule is stacked. Warner Bros. has also reportedly zeroed in on Jaume Collet-Serra to direct SUICIDE SQUAD 2, so it’s unlikely he’s returning for that sequel.