When a Scarface update was announced some 14 months ago, producers Martin Bregman (also behind the 1983 incarnation) and Marc Shmuger were keeping the lead character’s ethnicity a secret. Not a detail you’re used to seeing suits hold down from internet commenters, but it sort of (kind of) made sense when taken in the larger scheme of things. Just as Howard Hawks showed the downfall of an Italian-American, and just as Brian De Palma gave us one Cuban immigrant’s rise & fall, the next director would work with… some other ethnicity. This was crucial.

Now it’s out in the open, as LatinoReview have been told that Scarface — probably what it’ll be called; no point in changing things, either — will center on (commence the drums) a Mexican immigrant. That’s the main thing, I’d say, but they shed a bit more light when revealing that, unsurprisingly, the film takes place around and amongst his homeland’s drug cartels. Italians, Cubans, Mexicans; bullet-riddled mobsters, coked-out hotshots, and violent soldiers. Sound about right?

Well, sure. I might have preferred they switch gears from the drug angle — my idea, such as it is, would have been human traffickers from Eastern Europe — but those who end up seeing this because of name recognition are thinking of Al Pacino, not Howard Hughes. And we’re talking about the update of two older films, so it’s only my fault for expecting something outside the lines.

Does the new path for Scarface strike you as wise?

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