The Movie Spew: Universal Will Remake Scarface Again, Again

By , Columnist

Seriously, A Scarface Remake?

Universal created quite a hubbub about the release of their Scarface Blu-ray in September, and that should have caused a little suspicion.

I just assumed they were promoting what they assumed would be a big ol’ moneymaker, but in fact it looks like they were testing the waters for a new edition of Scarface.

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That’s right, Universal is planning on remaking Scarface…again. Though Al Pacino’s cocaine-fueled odyssey is now viewed as the definitive Scarface, it’s also a remake of Howard Hawks and Howard Hughes’ iconic 1932 gangster picture that was so controversial at the time of release, it was required to have a pre-titles audience warning and was responsible for launching Hollywood’s first ratings system.

Scarface poster.jpgThe 1983 Scarface was almost as controversial initially, but has become a classic now viewed as a deliberately sensationalistic black comedy of sorts satirizing the world of '80s excess. How either movie could be topped is a mystery, but sadly, folks, Universal is going to try.

Producer Martin Bregman (Dog Day Afternoon, Carlito’s Way), who was responsible for shepherding the previous Scarface remake to the screen, will be in charge of this new version, which I suppose is a good sign. Bregman received hails of blaspheme when he announced plans to remake the original Scarface almost 30 years ago, but whether he can find a team as talented as Brian DePalma, Oliver Stone, and Al Pacino to create the next version remains to be seen.

There’s no denying that his '80s Scarface is now one of the most iconic and merchandised movies ever made, so the expectations will be much higher this time.

My only hope is that since the core Scarface story is such a basic rise 'n' fall gangster tale that when put into a new context, there could be an interesting film to be made.

For example if the new version is set in the current drug lord-run Mexico or the world of hip hop gangstas from the '90s (who are partially responsible for the iconic status of Scarface as it is), it could yield compelling results.

It’s unlikely risks like that will be taken, though. My guess is we’ll see one of the Twilight stars deliver a grating Tony Montana impersonation and kick back the cool of the movie by a few hundred degrees. We’ll see what happens. Writers are currently being interviewed and hopefully whoever gets the gig will approach the project with the caution and reverence it deserves. Otherwise Scarface might be ruined for everyone and we can all officially say goodnight to the bad guy. It’s the last time we’ll ever see a bad guy like him again.

The Inevitable Elton John Biopic Is on the Way

I’ll bet all of you fine readers out there have been holding your breath and crossing your fingers, desperately hoping that someone would make an Elton John biopic.

No? Well, it’s happening anyway. Elton John will be supervising the project which will be written by Billy Elliot writer and playwright Lee Hall. It’s going to be called Rocketman (obviously) and will follow John’s journey from piano prodigy to international superstar in an unconventional manner.

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According to the film’s producer Steve Hamilton Shaw, “Rocketman will be a radically different kind of biopic.It will be as unique as Elton’s life, told in a non-linear and hyper-visual manner that will transport people through the many intense experiences, some wonderful, some not, that helped define Elton as an artist, musician and man.”

Sounds a bit like Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz with a lot less self-loathing. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, but I think we can assume that John has the power to get this movie made regardless of whether or not it’s a good idea. Stay tuned for more inevitably flamboyant updates on the movie in ensuing months.

A Big Name Cast Signs On for Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse

Anyone remember that weird Internet short/fake trailer Jay And Seth vs. The Apocalypse from 2007 in which Jay Baruchel and Seth Rogen played versions of themselves struggling to deal with the apocalypse (you probably could have gathered that from the title, but I thought I’d explain)?

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It seemed like an odd and funny concept for a movie that I always hoped might actually happen, but that seemed unlikely once Baruchel and Rogen became unlikely movie stars.

Well, apparently the displaced Canadian comedians haven’t abandoned the idea and it’s actually going to get made. In between other movies, Rogen and his Superbad/Pineapple Express writing partner Evan Goldberg (they also wrote The Green Hornet together, but I’m prepared to forgive them for that) have fleshed out the short into a feature and they’ve signed on a big ol’ cast of their longtime comedy buddies to come along for the ride, including Jonah Hill, James Franco, Danny McBride, and Craig Robinson.

It’s unclear how the minimal plot of two stoner roommates struggling with the apocalypse will be expanded into a feature, but the film will apparently mark Goldberg’s debut as a director.

Provided the film gets made as intended (and given these guys' insane streak of successes, that shouldn’t be too hard), this could be a damn funny and even original comedy. Fingers crossed folks, fingers crossed. I really don’t want to eat my words if this thing sucks.


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