Modern-Day 'Scarface' Remake Set in Los Angeles Gets Green Light

Say hello to this little rags-to-riches retelling by the 'Straight Outta Compton' screenwriter

Al Pacino in 'Scarface.' Credit: Everett

Perhaps the bloodiest rags-to-riches story in cinema history, the saga of Scarface has twice been shown on the silver screen, first with Paul Muni in the role of the criminally savvy immigrant shooting his way to the American Dream, then 50 years later with Al Pacino portraying Tony Montana in the classic Brian De Palma-directed, Oliver Stone-penned version. Now, Universal has announced plans to bring the Scarface story to modern times with a new film penned by Straight Outta Compton screenwriter Jonathan Herman, The Hollywood Reporter writes.

Director Pablo Larraín, fresh off winning the Berlin International Film Festival's Jury Grand Prix for his film The Club, will helm the remake, which will transplant the story to the present-day criminal underworld of Los Angeles (the 1932 and 1983 versions took place in Chicago and Miami, respectively). The project had long been in the works at Universal – Training Day and End of Watch writer David Ayer reportedly submitted a script at one point – but Herman's participation jumpstarted the remake.

The movie has inspired a parade of similar anti-heroes in movies and television, including The Sopranos' Tony Soprano and Boardwalk Empire's Nucky Thompson. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan often compared Walter White to the gangster made famous by Pacino. "I like to picture viewers losing sympathy for Walt. With every episode, yet another viewer or two is saying, 'You know, I'm not with this guy anymore. I'm watching him, but I'm not sympathizing,'" Gilligan said. "This is a guy moving along a continuum toward ultimately becoming Scarface."