Giorgio Moroder’s score notwithstanding, Brian De Palma’s 1983 version of Scarface was always a bad idea—a sensationalized, extremely bloated remake of one of definitive gangster movies, with a glazed, hammy Al Pacino in the lead role. (Fortunately, both De Palma and Pacino made up for Scarface’s sins with Carlito’s Way, a genuinely great film.) And remaking De Palma’s version is an even worse idea in light of the current political situation, seeing as its protagonist, Tony Montana, is a two-for-one special of modern-day nationalist bogeymen: a dangerously un-vetted refugee and a murderous Latino stereotype.
But, hey, Scarface remains popular, and it’s not like Universal gets to collect royalties on all those rap lyrics and unlicensed beach towels. The studio has been trying to get the remake project going since at least 2011, and last year attached Antoine Fuqua—a specialist in turning titles audiences recognize into movies they won’t remember—to direct. But Fuqua dropped out last month, and while the studio is looking for a new director, it’s handed the screenplay over to Joel and Ethan Coen to polish. As Variety reports, the sibling duo will be doing the latest rewrite on the script, which was previously in the hands of Terence Winter and, before that, David Ayer.
As of now, Diego Luna remains attached to star as Tony Montana, with an expected release date of August 10, 2018.