It has been nearly two years since we’ve heard any concrete news on Universal’s long-gestating remake of Scarface, and in that time, fans have continued to ask Diego Luna about its progress. At Sundance, the actor took the opportunity to clear up any lingering confusion, confirming to Collider that he’s no longer attached to star in the project.
See, in March 2018, Variety reported that Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer had been tapped to rewrite Universal’s script, which heavy hitters such as David Ayer, Jonathan Herman and the Coen brothers all had a hand in shaping. The Variety story didn’t mention Luna by name, though the trade reported that director Antoine Fuqua “will now search for his star,” hinting at Luna’s exit. But that line seems to have escaped the internet, and was not widely reported. Indeed, a recent Google search turns up nothing regarding Luna’s exit.
So why did Luna turn the other cheek with regards to Scarface? Well, several months earlier, the Mexican actor signed on to join the fourth season of Narcos, which at the time, was not yet called Narcos: Mexico. We now know he had been cast as Miguel Ángel Félix Gallardo, who rises through the narcotics ranks to become a powerful drug kingpin — one who’s a lot like Tony Montana in many respects, and yet, very different than Scarface in several others.
After praising his turn on the upcoming second season of Narcos: Mexico, which returns to Netflix on Feb. 13, I asked Luna during our interview at Sundance point-blank whether he was still attached to Scarface. He smiled sheepishly, almost as if he himself was still unsure whether the news was out there, and said “no, no I’m not.”
So where does the Scarface remake stand these days? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. Though the film is no longer on Universal’s release schedule, Fuqua is still attached to direct, and the project remains a priority for the studio, which according to a recent Inclusionists study, is releasing way more movies with underrepresented leads than its counterparts. The strategy is paying off for Universal, which is why I think we’ll see Scarface sooner rather than later, especially with Al Pacino‘s film nearing its 40th anniversary in 2023.
As far as casting goes, you’ll have to stay tuned. And for those Luna fans who prefer to see him play the hero instead of the villain, the Disney+ series centered around his Rogue One character Cassian Andor is expected to begin shooting this year.