Training Day Screenwriter to Pen New Scarface
12.01.11 by Ryan
Fans of the 1983 classic Scarface likely weren't too pleased to hear in September that Universal Pictures was planning a "new version" of the movie, probably in the same way fans of the 1932 version of Scarface were upset in 1983. No script was in place for the new Scarface, though, reportedly, the latest version will again follow an immigrant who comes to the United States and falls from grace during his search for the American dream.
Universal has finally settled on a screenwriter. Deadline reports that David Ayer (Training Day) has been hired to write the script which won't exactly be about an Italian immigrant named Tony who becomes a crime boss in Chicago or a Cuban immigrant named Tony who becomes a drug kingpin in Miami, but likely will be about an immigrant from somewhere named Tony. For his part, Ayer is pleased with the job, which, he admits, he "sought out".
This is a fantasy for me, I can still remember when I saw the film at 13 and it blew my mind. I sought it out; I went after it hard. I see it as the story of the American dream, with a character whose moral compass points in a different direction. That puts it right in my wheelhouse. I studied both the original Ben Hecht-Howard Hawks movie and the Brian [DePalma]-[Al] Pacino version and found some universal themes. I’m still under the hood figuring out the wiring that will translate, but both films had a specificity of place, there was unapologetic violence, and a main character who socially scared the s**t out of people, but who had his own moral code. Each was faithful to the underworld of its time. There are enough opportunities in the real world today that provide an opportunity to do this right. If it was just an attempt to remake the 1983 film, that would never work.
While Ayer figures out his take on Scarface, he is also preparing his next directorial effort, the "found footage" police drama titled End of Watch. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena as two LAPD officers and friends, the story is described by Ayer as a mix of "unconventional storytelling interwoven with conventional photography that creates a portrait of their lives" that is a "cross between Cops and Mean Streets". End of Watch is currently without a release date and will be shopped to distributors before the end of the year.