David Ayer's Vision for 'Scarface' Reboot Clashes with Universal Pictures


ORLANDO, USA - AUGUST 27, 2015: Universal Studios globe located at the entrance to the theme park. Universal Studios Orlando is a theme park resort in Orlando, Florida, USA (Ariyaphol Jiwalak /

David Ayer's Vision for 'Scarface' Reboot Clashes with Universal's Fun Script Desire

According to reports, the much-anticipated 'Scarface' reboot, a project under Universal's banner, has been a topic of discussion in Hollywood for its directorial changes and script evolution. David Ayer, known for his work on 'Suicide Squad,' was initially on board as the director for the reboot. However, his departure from the project in July 2017, just months after replacing Antoine Fuqua, has been a subject of speculation.

Key Takeaways:

  • David Ayer exited the 'Scarface' reboot due to creative differences with Universal.
  • Universal sought a more fun and broad script, contrasting Ayer's darker vision.
  • Ayer's script was not considered "too violent" but rather too dark for Universal's taste.
  • The 'Scarface' reboot remains in limbo, with no director currently attached.

Creative Differences Lead to Departure

Ayer's exit from the 'Scarface' reboot was initially attributed to scheduling conflicts, as he was also working on his Netflix action movie 'Bright.' However, it has since been revealed that the real reason behind his departure was a fundamental disagreement over the script's tone. In a recent interview with Total Film magazine, Ayer clarified that his version of the script was not "too violent," as some reports in 2017 suggested. Instead, he crafted a "rich, soulful journey through the drug trade," which he felt was too dark for Universal's preference for a more fun and broad script.

Universal's Vision for 'Scarface'

Universal has been eager to reboot 'Scarface,' the 1983 crime classic directed by Brian de Palma and starring Al Pacino. The studio's intention to create a 'Scarface' movie that appeals to a broad audience is evident in their desire for a lighter script. Ayer, acknowledging Universal's perspective, noted that the studio wants to capture as large an audience as possible, considering 'Scarface' as one of their "biggest IP behind 'Jurassic Park.'"

The Future of the 'Scarface' Reboot

Despite Ayer's departure and the creative differences, the 'Scarface' reboot remains a project of interest in Hollywood. However, the film has yet to find a director who aligns with Universal's vision. Ayer, meanwhile, is moving forward with his new movie, 'The Beekeeper,' starring Jason Statham, set to release on January 12.


The 'Scarface' reboot's journey highlights the challenges of balancing creative vision with studio expectations. While Ayer's darker take on the iconic story was not in line with Universal's broader appeal strategy, the search for the right director and script continues. The reboot remains a testament to the enduring legacy of 'Scarface' and the complexities of modern filmmaking.