1:03pm PT by Kim Masters
Universal's 'Scarface' Reboot Loses Director David Ayer (Exclusive)
The difficult quest for a director for Universal's Scarface continues as the studio has parted ways with David Ayer (Suicide Squad).
Ayer's take on the script was "too dark" for the studio's taste, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter, though given that Scarface is, as one insider put it, "the holy grail of contemporary gangster movies," a certain amount of darkness would be necessary.
Ayer won acclaim for penning the hard-hitting Training Day and making gritty movies such as End of Watch. Universal's Scarface is to trade the Miami locale of the 1983 film version for Los Angeles.
Scarface tells the story of the rise and fall of a gangster, which has seen previous versions made in 1932 and 1983, the latter of which came from director Brian De Palma and starred Al Pacino.
Diego Luna is still attached to play the West Coast Latino gangster. Dylan Clark will produce via his Dylan Clark Productions, along with Martin Bregman, who also produced the 1983 film.
The search for a Scarface director has been a long one. Equalizer and Training Day helmer Antoine Fuqua was once attached to the project before dropping out due to scheduling conflicts at the beginning of the year. Hell or High Water director David MacKenzie and Patriots Day helmer Peter Berg were also circling it at one point.
After directing the Warner Bros. antihero ensemble Suicide Squad, Ayer is heading to computer screens everywhere with the Netflix fantasy movie Bright, starring Will Smith. He also is attached to a Warners remake of the Western The Wild Bunch, and will reteam with his Suicide Squad star Margot Robbie for Gotham City Sirens, which will be led by Robbie's Harley Quinn.