When the remakes of Scarface and The Thing came out in 1983 and 1982 respectively, audiences were appalled by the violence of both films.
Meanwhile, film buffs were disgusted that two Howard Hawks classics were, in their view, defiled. Things have changed a lot since then, with both films having remarkable second lives on video and DVD.
When we love something, we want more and more of it all the time, and who wouldn’t love an experience as fresh and as cool as the first time seeing Scarface again? Yet I don’t know if putting another Scarface movie in development is necessarily the solution to this, which is what Universal recently announced.
As Deadline reports, “The film is not intended as a remake or a sequel. It will take the comment elements of the first two films: an outsider, an immigrant, barges his way into the criminal establishment in pursuit of a twisted version of the American dream, becoming a kingpin through a campaign of ruthlessness and violent ambition.”
The drug world was a good way to update the story from the days of prohibition, maybe in this one Tony Montana can be the next Bernie Madoff?
Seriously folks, I’m sure I sound like a broken record here, and I can make that joke because vinyl is back in style, but the ’83 Scarface still holds up very well, and it’s got such a huge built-in audience that if it’s not as amazing as the Pacino version, fans will definitely go berserk – myself included.
The ’83 Scarface was also lucky in that it stood the test of time, and audiences discovered how good a film it was after it initially tanked at the box office. It still has a lot of good messages in it, and Pacino’s performance was absolutely amazing. Plus, it’s Al’s favorite role.
As Deadline also points out, the DVD has sold over 10 million copies world wide, and here’s a little bit of Scarface trivia I didn’t know, “Say hello to my little friend,” is the best selling ringtone. (Never heard it on anyone’s phone myself, but it’s a great idea.)
So clearly, Scarface has proven to be a goldmine for Universal over the years, with the hopes it can make more, but again, with a lot of these great, classic movies Hollywood keeps going back to, the originals still hold up after a considerable length of time, and with this one, and even Ghostbusters, the bar may already be too high to surpass it.