Luca Guadagnino’s ‘Scarface’ Movie Is Dead

Say goodbye to Luca Guadagnino’s “Scarface” movie.

The “Challengers” and “Call Me by Your Name” director confirmed to The Hindu that he is no longer attached to helm a reinterpretation of the iconic mobster movie. Guadagnino was first attached to “Scarface” in 2020, with Ethan and Joel Coen writing the script.

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“I’m not working on ‘Scarface’ anymore,” Guadagnino told the outlet in November 2023.

He later added of adaptations in general, “For me, when approaching any book adaptation or remake, it’s about understanding what the story carries within itself that goes beyond the form of the original work. So that you can tell that story from a completely different perspective. Whether it’s fresh or not, I cannot tell. But it’s different.”

Howard Hawks’ 1932 original “Scarface,” based on Armitage Trail’s novel, was later iconically remade in 1983 by director Brian De Palma using a script by Oliver Stone and starring Al Pacino as Cuban mobster Tony Montana. Joel Coen and Ethan Coen were set to pen a script in 2020, with the premise set in Los Angeles; the Coens were working from earlier drafts by Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer, Jonathan Herman, and Paul Attanasio. It is unclear if the Coen brothers are still attached to the project without Guadagnino.

Over the decades, directors like David Ayer, David Yates, Pablo Larraín, and Antoine Fuqua have been attached to various iterations of a “Scarface” remake. The films have also inspired the upcoming “The Penguin” series at Max, among other mafia genre projects.

Guadagnino first announced his “shocking” reinterpretation of “Scarface” in 2020, calling the project a “very timely” take on the IP.

“People claim that I do only remakes,” the “Suspiria” director said at the time. “The truth of the matter is cinema has been remaking itself throughout its existence. It’s not because it’s a lazy way of not being able to find original stories. It’s always about looking at what certain stories say about our times. The first ‘Scarface’ from Howard Hawks was all about the Prohibition era. Fifty years later, Oliver Stone and Brian De Palma make their version, which is so different from the Hawks film. Both can stand on the shelf as two wonderful pieces of sculpture. Hopefully ours, 40-plus years later, will be another worthy reflection on a character who is a paradigm for our own compulsions for excess and ambition. I think my version will be very timely.”

The director also said during the 77th Venice Film Festival that “Scarface” is about the “dream of fulfilling, of success,” with the themes of the film “way bigger than Brian De Palma’s direction. It’s something bigger than Brian De Palma, Howard Hawks, and myself.”

Guadagnino added, “The truth is that I’m interested in the Tony Montana character. He’s a symptom of the American dream. And I think these films are made for their eras. My own ‘Scarface’ will arrive 40 years after the previous one. I think the important thing about these movies is not the fact that they are lush and fundamental like De Palma’s. The important thing is knowing that Tony Montana is an archetypal character.”

The director most recently helmed the tennis love triangle drama “Challengers” starring Zendaya, Josh O’Connor, and Mike Faist. The film was slated to debut at the 2023 Venice Film Festival, but its release was delayed until April 2024 due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.

The other project moving ahead from Guadagnino is the William S. Burroughs adaptation “Queer” starring Daniel Craig and Drew Starkey. It wrapped filming over the summer.

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