Harry Potter director David Yates is reportedly in talks to direct the revamp of mobster classic Scarface. Sources tell Deadline.com, Yates has been meeting with studio executives at Universal and has emerged as the frontrunner for the job.
The film originally hit the big screen in 1932, but it became a classic when Al Pacino starred in Brian De Palma’s 1982 version.
Training Day screenwriter David Ayer and Paul Attanasio have both contributed to the script for the new film, which will reportedly be set in modern day America and feature a Mexican Scarface, as opposed to Pacino's Cuban mobster Tony Montana.
In this country, you've got to make the Quiz Show first. And then when you make the Quiz Show, you get the Donnie Brasco. And then when you make the Donnie Brasco, you get the Scarface. There are also a few Good Germans in there somewhere, but you get the gist. Deadline reports that screenwriter Paul Attanasio is being tasked with rewriting the script for the developing Scarface remake.
The accomplished writer/producer — who in addition to the listed titles has also worked on Homicide: Life on the Streets and House — will be taking scripting responsibilities from David Ayer, the writer of Training Day and the recent release End of Watch. Ayer's well-received credits aside, Attanasio does seem more fit to take on a project like this. His films have exhibited the cultural gravity and extensive scopes befitting a retelling of Tony Montana's story. But how much of the Brian de Palma classic should be recreated in Attanasio's script?
The 1983 film's script, written by wordsmith Oliver Stone, consists of an army of memorable one-liners. In fact, Scarface is a movie more substantially defined by its individual lines and speeches than many of its peers, leading to a plausible dilemma in terms of a remake. Some of these recognizable bits of dialogue would be easily conducive to reproduction in a film with a dissimilar perspective — for instance, Michelle Pfeiffer's forewarning: "Don't get high on your own supply." But then there are those far too entrenched in the highly specific, gritty mood of de Palma's Scarface, i.e. star Al Pacino's, "This town is like a great big p**** waiting to get f***ed." Not nearly as malleable; Attanasio's incarnation of Montana would have to be pretty in line with Stone's in order to pull that off, provoking the question of whether or not a remake that identical to the '83 picture is accomplishing anything new.
Topping the list of memorable Scarface lines is of course, "Say hello to my little friend!" A catchphrase that simultaneously has to be in the new movie and can't be in the new movie. How could they possible get it right? How could they possibly avoid it? Wouldn't it soften the blow to recreate such a cinematic scene, and build toward a derivative final product? Tackling a tagline like this, as well as other specific memorable components of Scarface (the mountains of cocaine, Montana's fall to his death, the tiger), will be difficult dealings for any screenwriter attempting a remake. Maybe that's why they had to bring in a new one...
[Photo Credit: Universal Pictures]
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Packed into four epic days, San Diego Comic-Con is the ultimate haven for all things pop culture. The convention center is a sprawling stew of comic books, animation, movies, TV and anything that could be loosely wiggled under the entertainment banner. While there is plenty to find in the nooks and crannies of the convention, Hollywood parades its biggest and best material in Hall H, the mecca of movie previews.
In anticipation of the convention (which Hollywood.com will embark upon for the entire run, updating all the breaking news along the way), I sifted through the packed schedule to boil down my 20 biggest questions I have going in to pop culture circus. Iron Man 3, The Hobbit, Man of Steel and a trove of blockbusters (including, perhaps, a few unannounced surprises) will be on hand to show off their goods. Here's what I want to learn at this year's Comic-Con:
1. How epic will Breaking Dawn — Part 2's final battle be?
As is the case with many, the movie adaptations of the Twilight series have done little to impress me. I'm fine with the romance angle — a love triangle is a perfectly reasonable dramatic centerpiece! — but as a genre buff, there was a certain pain I felt watching vampires and werewolves standing around, barely using their supernatural powers. What a waste. Breaking Dawn changed all of that for me; the twisted entry took every element in Twilight and cranked it up to 11. So I find myself anticipating Breaking Dawn — Part 2 and its potential: with Edward and Bella's baby Renesmee growing up at rapid pace, Jacob's strange imprint situation with the child and a war brewing in the background, the saga's grand finale could be just that. Grand. I need the footage to prove it. Don't wimp out, Twilight! Prove naysayers wrong.
2. Can The Hobbit recapture the LOTR magic with 3D and digital photography?
Back in December, Peter Jackson and Warner Bros. revealed the first teaser for The Hobbit. The spot had it all: the design, the music, the balance of humor and adventure only the folks of Middle Earth could deliver. A few months later, Jackson debuted footage at CinemaCon, but the slick presentation left a few film buffs underwhelmed. The digital photography and 3D were sharp… maybe, too sharp. Suddenly, the cinematic, filmic qualities of the original Lord of the Rings trilogy were gone, replaced by a modern technological glisten. The footage was unfinished and many speculated the actual theatrical experience may be entirely different. With Hobbit readying to premiere footage at SDCC, many of the potential film geek fears should be quelled.
3. Did Edgar Wright actually shoot test footage for a proposed Ant-Man movie?
Recent rumors hinted that the Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim director spent a week or two shooting some top secret footage for Marvel Studios, a test reel to prove his Ant-Man has the potential to be as action-packed and fun as the studio's other blockbusters. Wright is a Comic-Con veteran, leading an army of fans to an early screening of Scott Pilgrim in 2010. Could he swing by Saturday's Marvel panel to wow the crowd with a tease of, arguably, one of the comic book titan's weirder characters? My fingers are already crossed.
4. Is Dredd just a sci-fi version of The Raid?
The first trailer for Dredd 3D, a new adaptation of the Judge Dredd comic book, quickly cleared up any confusion that the movie was somehow connected to the bonkers 1994 Sly Stallone version. The new and improved Dredd is all about realism and grit, putting Karl Urban's Judge in the middle of a brutal, futuristic landscape. The scale is significantly smaller, with Judge from level to level up a high rise a la last year's The Raid (a critical darling of action buffs). The comparisons might be obvious, but even if Dredd does take a page out of The Raid's book, it might be a Comic-Pro as opposed to a Comic-Con. Who needs another "epic" sci-fi when we can have one with actual thrills? The movie will screen at Comic-Con on Wednesday, July 11, so I'll know for sure then.
5. What has Jackie Chan been doing since The Karate Kid?
I'm a big enough Jackie Chan apologist that I will actually recommend his campy, American fantasy flick The Forbidden Kingdom and even sit through The Tuxedo if it pops up during channel surfing. In recent years, the king of Hollywood martial arts as stuck to English-language films that skew to younger audiences, but with the actor set to make his first appearance at Comic-Con this year, he may be prepping a reinvention. The star's latest movie (also a directorial effort), Chinese Zodiac, will bow to SDCC's Hall H, greeted by thousands of skeptical fans. If it packs the right balance of fight moves, it could be an unexpected hit of the Con.
6. How did they get all those video game characters into Wreck-It Ralph?
Disney's Wreck-It Ralph looks like the sweet tale of a bad guy finding his place in the world, but I'm as interested in the story as I am the hoards of video game characters set to make appearances in the movie. Wreck-It Ralph promises Roger Rabbit-level cameos — a first since… well, Roger Rabbit. The how'd-they-pull-this-off story may be as compelling as the film.
7. Will Iron Man 3 be able to keep things interesting in the wake of The Avengers?
The biggest fear for Marvel fans (this guy included) is the company's post-Avengers plan. This summer's biggest blockbuster set a high bar for action and character. Only having one hero (Tony Stark) on hand for Iron Man 3 will automatically make the film feel smaller. How Marvel will compensate and keep things interesting will take some creativity, but if anyone can figure out how to hook audiences after their own cinematic juggernaut, it's them.
8. How is the fifth Resident Evil movie shaking things up?
Most franchises drop off at the third movie. Resident Evil has been growing in popularity all the way to its fifth entry. I don't claim to understand the fandom, but RE has been smart to change things up with every movie. The first Resident Evil was a horror movie with sci-fi elements. 2010's Resident Evil: Afterlife was a run-and-gun, survival action picture. What is Resident Evil: Retribution? On our set visit, producers claimed this movie was overtly science fiction. The film's Hall H panel should deliver on that promise.
9. Why is Jake Gyllenhaal's police drama End of Watch anywhere near Comic-Con?
Over the years, San Diego Comic-Con has evolved into something much bigger than a straight-up comic convention. At this point, if the movie/tv show/game/whatever can be considered pop culture, it fits. Jake Gyllenhaal's latest, a gritty, crime drama directed by Training Day writer David Ayer, might be the antithesis of everything Comic-Con was founded on, but that may not matter anymore. The panel may be the ultimate litmus test — will people accept End of Watch just because it has someone famous in it?
10. Can Henry Cavill live up to the Supermen of the past?
Superman was born on the pages of comic books, but for many, there's only one real Son of Krypton: Christopher Reeves. Bryan Signer tried to recapture the magic of Richard Donner's classic Superman films by casting Brandon Routh, a dead ringer for Reeves. Routh excelled in Superman Returns, but many fans found the thinking man's superhero movie to be a disappointment. Thus, the reboot. Man of Steel has Zack Snyder at the helm, Christopher Nolan in the producer's chair and a brand new Supes, the relative unknown Henry Cavill. The dapper man will try and carve his own unique spin on the character, but it's a trick task. There's a middle ground to honoring the lovable goof of Reeves' Clark Kent and spinning a radical interpretation of Superman. Cavill needs to do both. Comic-Con will be the proving ground.
[Photo Credit: Warner Bros., Marvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures]
Dropping out of big-budget film projects seems to be the flavor of the year. Following Darren Aronofsky’s departure from Fox’s The Wolverine, two acclaimed directors left two anticipated movies yesterday, leaving their respective fates in limbo. David O. Russell (who ironically collaborated with Aronofsky on last winter’s The Fighter) exited Sony’s video game adaptation of Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, while Albert Hughes walked out on Warner Bros. Akira. If you’re a fan of either property and are upset because you think these films are doomed, fear not. Hollywood always has a plan B, C and D. Another filmmaker will surely be hired for both and you’ll end up seeing them on the big screen one way or another. If I had my choice, however, I’d let one of these guys take on the responsibilities.
I’ve long been a fan of Natali’s work, which has largely been in the realm of sci-fi. Most recently, he got icky with the psycho-sexual creature feature Splice, but he’s also done great things in the genre with Nothing, a comedic take on the exploration of a complex existential situation, and Cypher, in which he made a thrilling action-adventure on a shoestring budget. Warner Bros. came on board Splice at the last minute to distribute the film to a wider audience, so the studio must have confidence in his unique vision. That’s why I think he deserves a shot at Akira, a project that would benefit from having a not-so-expensive director at the helm (gotta save for those special effects, you know).
Jones has become a bit of a savior for studio sci-fi in the last two years. He burst onto the scene with his trippy mind-game Moon, which rewarded him with the chance to helm a bigger project in Summit’s Source Code. The latter is actually one of the best-reviewed mainstream releases of the year and an all-around cool flick. It’s clear that this guy knows what works and what doesn’t within the genre, and he’s proven that he’s capable of handling a mid-range budget. The fact that Fox was considering using him to replace Aronofsky on Wolverine means that his stock is rising, so Warner Bros. should get on the DJ train quick.
My first thought was to go with Tony, because he’s not currently committed to a film like his older brother Ridley is. The veteran filmmaker has no problem managing hundred-million-dollar movies and even makes a good one every once in a while. The only reason I’m not totally gung-ho about having him direct Akira is because he’s rarely venture into the realm of science fiction (the one exception was Disney’s Déjà Vu, a convoluted but underrated adventure), but that’s where Ridley comes in. He’s responsible for some of the genre’s very best, including Alien and Blade Runner (and he’s currently working on what could be another milestone, Prometheus). The blockbuster brothers have never co-directed a picture in their long careers, so why not try it with Akira?
If there’s one thing that an Uncharted movie should be, it’s raw and intense. As writer of urban action hits like The Fast and the Furious, S.W.A.T. and Training Day and director of Harsh Times and Street Kings, I think that Ayer can bring a lot of adrenaline to the international adventures of Nathan Drake. Without question, he’d make the hand-to-hand combat as painfully authentic as it could be and would give the story a real sense of danger. He’s currently filming a new police thriller called End of Watch, but should be done in time to helm Uncharted for its planned 2013 release.
This is one guy who knows a thing or two about started a franchise out on the right foot. From James Bond to Zorro to Green Lantern, he’s taken these characters from page (or radio) to screen with style and high energy. He rarely returns to a series once he gets it out of the gate, so I wouldn’t expect him to stick around for the long haul, but he’d definitely deliver an engrossing picture with well-developed characters and a kick-ass pace.
Sure, he’s plenty busy with Cowboys and Aliens and Magic Kingdom, but I don’t think it’s totally unreasonable to think that Favreau would give this Indiana Jones-inspired character a great origin story. His films are very well balanced, focusing equally on story, character and spectacle. They combine in the form of highly watchable, exciting movies that are perfect for all audiences. If he could find the time, I think Favreau would nail Uncharted.
At first glance The Family Stone appears to be yet another silly romp about family dynamics. But the Stones a vivacious loving liberal-minded New England family are more than just cardboard cut-outs; they’re as real as any dysfunctional family can be. The film begins with the Stones getting ready for their annual holiday gathering. Matriarch Sybil (Diane Keaton) is especially anxious to meet her eldest son’s (Dermot Mulroney) girlfriend Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker). The family has been warned Meredith is a controlling neurotic New Yorker with very little redeemable qualities. And when Meredith arrives she certainly does nothing to dispel the notion meeting her potential eccentric in-laws with a mix of awkwardness confusion and hostility. Yet oddly enough the disruption brings about some needed changes within the family Stone allowing them to come together and realize their extraordinary capacity for love. Everyone in this stellar ensemble rises to the occasion and truly paints a very vivid picture of a family devoted to one another--but who are less than approachable to outsiders. As mom Keaton turns in yet another genuine look at a complicated woman dealing with some insurmountable obstacles while Craig T. Nelson as her loyal husband does a nice job conveying a warmth to their marriage. Playing their grownup children is Mulroney as the straight-laced “suit” Everett who isn’t all that priggish; Luke Wilson as the laid-back Ben who seems to have strayed the most from his family; and Rachel McAdams as the passionate if rather acerbic little sister. But the real revelation is Parker as the uptight highly unlikable Meredith. It’s quite a departure from her fun-lovin’ Sex
and the City days and the Parker--who truly is one of the better comedic actresses we have today--easily handles the unpleasant chores of playing someone suffering with chronic foot-in-mouth syndrome. Like many newbie filmmakers writer/director Thomas Bezucha--whose only other credit is the little seen indie Big Eden--has the advantage of having that certain fresh quality to his work. Stone’s dialogue is snappy poignant and spot-on as the Stones interact with each other in all too familiar ways. The whole Meredith scenario will perhaps have many of us remembering similar situations--from both sides of the fence. It’s just as painful to have to meet the family of someone you love for the first time as it is dealing with a family member’s poor choices in mates. And what makes
The Family Stone stand out even more is how Bezucha truly defines the term “dramedy.” From the trailer the film seemed to be a balls-out slap-sticky comedy which in many ways it is but you may be surprised to see how The Family Stone’s more serious tones will touch you.