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Scarface Remake: Say Hello to a New Little Friend

Posted on the 23 September 2011 by Periscope @periscopepost

Scarface remake: Say hello to a new little friend

Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Scarface.

“Say hello to my little friend.” It’s Tony Montana’s most famous line from the film Scarface (and also, apparently, the biggest-selling mobile phone voice ringtone.). Made in 1983, the film (directed by Brian De Palma, and starring Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer), was itself a remake of a 1932 Howard Hawks classic with Boris Karloff in the lead. The DVD  has sold 10 million copies across the world, and the film poster decorates student bedrooms everywhere. The film tells the story of Tony Montana, a refugee from Cuba who makes his way to Miami and claws his way up the slipperly slope of the cocaine world. Was it self-indulgent, or a satire? Even then nobody was really sure. There were cries of outrage when the first remake was made – so what about now?

We may be saying hello to a new little friend, as news breaks (on Deadline) that  Universal Pictures is going to bash out a new version. Mike Fleming on Deadline said that he’d heard that Martin Bregman (who produced the ’83 film) was going to produce the new one. It “is not intended to be a remake or a sequel”, however, and will work on the “common elements” of the originals, in which an “outsider” makes his way through the murky criminal underworld.

Promises, promises. Ray Gustini on The Atlantic Wire was rather sceptical, saying that if the studio’s claiming the new film’s not a remake, than it’s “either wishful thinking, or a very loose definition of the word ‘remake””. The studio hasn’t said where the new character will come from – but Cuba will obviously be out. Russia might be plausible. It “could even be the Eastern Promises sequel David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen have been clamoring for.” The originals, said Hollywood Reporter, were mirrors “of their time.”  The new one will be the same, a “dark look at the American Dream.”

“Truly, ‘Scarface’ has the cultural influence of both Tupac Shakur and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec combined,” gushed Aubery Sitterson on IFC.

As long as it’s not Robert Pattinson. Phillip Brown on The Movie Spew was also pretty down on the whole thing, saying that he couldn’t see “how either movie could be topped.” It’s a good sign that Bregman is involved, and there’s “no denying” that the Eighties film is “one of the most iconic and merchandised films ever made.” So expectations are high then.  Unfortunately, though, it looks like what we’ll get is “one of the Twilight stars.”

“Another remake: woo-hoo. At least they haven’t gotten to Back to the Future yet,” sighed Nathan Adams on Filmschoolrejects.

Coporatephagia. Jeffery Racheff on Limelife was similarly downbeat, adding that the reason was that Hollywood was too interested in its own droppings. He quoted film producer Gavin Polone: “”The entertainment industry suffers from a condition I’ve named corporatephagia. This is the entertainment industry version of a behavior evidenced by my dog, Joey, that’s called coprophagia: He decides that a meal he has previously enjoyed can be appreciated again once it has been processed through his system and emerged out of the opposite end from which it entered.”

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