We Might Get Another “Scarface,” But Not Directed by Luca Guadagnino

He was said to be adapting a Coen brothers screenplay

Luca Guadagnino, director of "Call Me By Your Name," says he is no longer working on a new "Scarface" based on a Coen brothers screenplay
This man has directed many acclaimed films, but he will not be directing a new version of "Scarface."
Rocco Spaziani/Archivio Spaziani/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty

The year 1930 saw the publication of the novel Scarface by Armitage Trail. Inspired by the life of Al Capone, it went on to be the basis for two acclaimed films released more than 50 years apart — a 1932 version directed by Howard Hawks and starring Paul Muni, and a 1983 version directed by Brian De Palma and starring Al Pacino. Hawks and De Palma are an imposing pair of directors to measure up against for any filmmaker who might consider taking their own shot at the material.

Yet, hearing Luca Guadagnino mention that he was working on a version of Scarface as of a few years ago didn’t seem that strange — he is, after all, a director whose projects include a remake of Dario Argento’s horror classic Suspiria. If nothing else, Guadagnino seems to have considered why an iconic film should be remade, and come up with a better answer than “Because of the IP.”

Alas, this week brings bad news for anyone holding out hope for a Guadagnino-directed Scarface. As Samantha Bergeson reported at IndieWire, the filmmaker confirmed that his take on the seminal gangster film isn’t happening.

“I am not working on Scarface anymore,” Guadagnino told The Hindu in a recent interview.

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Given that the film’s new screenplay was apparently written by Joel and Ethan Coen, one can only imagine what this version of Scarface would have been like — and, if he had made it, if Guadagnino would also cast Tilda Swinton in multiple roles, as he did in Suspiria.

Just because the director isn’t making a new Scarface doesn’t mean that someone won’t give it a go — and given that studios still seem to be banking on familiar names and stories, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see someone’s take on the story hit theaters before the book’s 100th anniversary.

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