So. During the blog’s impromptu “Lebowski Fest” the past couple of days, I didn’t get an opportunity to share the news about two upcoming movies I’ve heard about. Both involving gangsters.
The first is a new “Scarface” movie planned by Universal.
The second is an N.W.A. biopic, tentatively titled after their debut album, “Straight Outta Compton”
One of these makes me giddy with anticipation, the other tests my gag reflex. See if you can guess which one is which. The answer, after the break.
According to Deadline.com, Universal is planning to reuse the title “Scarface”. They are currently avoiding calling it a remake or a reboot, and simply saying that they’re once again going to tell the tale of an immigrant gangster who makes it to the top of the underworld.
Recently, in regards to the upcoming “The Thing” prequel, I’ve been quoted as saying “If your movie itself is a remake, you logically forfeit all rights to complain about being remade.” Which makes nice, logical sense, but I failed to think of all the movies it would apply to apparently. The lesson? I’m an idiot.
Whether or not the movie bears any resemblance to the 1983 Brian De Palma movie, by virtue of sharing the same name, they WILL be associated with each other. And even though that movie is approaching 30 years old it is still a movie that is deeply, deeply rooted in the popular consciousness. Movies that are THAT ingrained in our culture should NOT be regurgitated.
Even if it was a remake itself. Logic be damned.
What studios SHOULD be doing is seeking out stories like N.W.A.’s.
Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Arabian Prince, DJ Yella, and MC Ren formed Niggaz Wit Attitudes in 1986. In 1988, they released their seminal rap album, the multi-platinum legend “Straight Outta Compton”. I still recall the first time I heard it. Blog regular Digger was playing it in his dorm room.
I remember it so vividly because it scared the crap out of me.
With its shocking, violent lyrics and music by Dr Dre, “Straight Outta Compton” was an undeniable tour de force. It put the hardcore reality of the gang filled streets right up in your face. It was one of the first albums ever to carry a “Parental Advisory” label. It may be commonplace nowadays, but in 1988 it was controversial, revolutionary and sensationalistic. And all the more so because these guys weren’t making it up. They had lived it, and you could tell.
Gang movies are nothing new. Rap movies are nothing new. Hell, gangster rap movies are nothing new. But THIS story? This is the real deal. And presuming the soundtrack will be fueled by the album, it all adds up to a movie I’m legitimately excited about. And evidently, New Line has it in the pipeline, to be produced by Ice Cube and with the blessing of Easy E’s widow.
Now, if we could only talk Universal out of a new “Scarface”.