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Scarface remake, oh no, it's really not a remake

Scarface.jpgScarface is getting remade. Oh no I've done it again, sorry executives, producers and marketing spin people, of course it's not a remake, especially not after you explained why it's not a remake to us all. No, it's not a remake.

There's going to be a new Scarface film, except it isn't going to be a new Scarface film according to those behind it. Is this the beginning of the end? People have joked about the classics being remade, are we moving closer to that point now?

Something we have to remember from the outset is that Scarface, the 1983 film with Al Pacino, was itself "not a remake" of another film, the 1932 film Scarface from Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson.

The 1932 film tells the story of the rise of an ambitious and insanely violent man through the ranks of the mob to the top, until that is his own weaknesses get the better of him and prove to be his downfall.

That is indeed the story of the 1983 Scarface film from Brian De Palma and Oliver Stone, although where the thirties film reflects its own period through bootlegging and Italian and Irish gangs the eighties film was about drug running, in particular cocaine, and set in Miami.

Now that will be the story of the future Scarface film that Martin Bergman and Marc Shmuger are heading up, and the plan is to update it once again to reflect the current organised crime world. Worth noting, The Hollywood Reporter point out, is that Bergman was a producer on the 1983 film.

It's fair to say that there could be a lot of differences introduced to distance it from both films by concentrating on modern organised crime and the current product of choice, but to say it isn't a remake is a little insulting I'd say.

The article says:

...it being described as not a sequel or outright remake of the 1983 Al Pacino-starring movie nor the 1932 Paul Muni-George Raft movie.

Well the mere fact that the sentence recognises the connection between those two films, acknowledges the connection between them and this one. They are remakes of each other with the 1932 being the original.

Deadline has some more information and says:

The film is not intended to be a remake or a sequel. It will take the common elements of the first two films: an outsider, an immigrant, barges his way into the criminal establishment in pursuit of a twisted version of the American dream, becoming a kingpin through a campaign of ruthlessness and violent ambition.

If we look at remakes today they are all taking the original story ideas and changing them to modern times, okay most of them are just adding a young cast and updating all the world details to be current day, but that is in effect what they are saying that the new Scarface will be. It will be the same story of a violent man rising through the ranks of organised crime; achieving the American dream, and seeing it fall apart before him because of the very desires that brought him there.

Surely that's a remake? Just as the 1983 Scarface was a remake of the 1932 film, both viewed as classics of their time. Is there room for a third? Or rather than a classic will we get a 3D, fast cut, high octane, action filled, soundtrack led film?



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