Ayer’s first film as a credited screenwriter was attached to “U-571,” a 2000 submarine thriller. He would explode in the public eye the following year with the release of Antoine Fuqua’s “Training Day,” which would earn its star, Denzel Washington, an Academy Award. He would also pen a few notable mainstream Hollywood pictures like “S.W.A.T.” and “The Fast and the Furious” before taking up directing with gritty crime dramas like “Harsh Times” and “Street Kings.”
More recently, Ayer moved into blockbusters with the infamously re-cut “Suicide Squad” and the Netflix fantasy thriller “Bright.” Ayer specializes in a certain kind of smoky, sleazy ultra-noir, typically telling stories of corrupt cops and vicious killers, all fighting to stay alive and enriched in a world run by ego, money, and violence. It makes perfect sense, then, that he should be drawn to “Scarface.” When asked about which unmade project of his he considered to be “the one that got away,” Ayer replied:
“‘Scarface,’ for sure. ‘Scarface.’ I wrote an absolutely amazing script, and it’s like anything: I want to be respectful of the studio and I want to give them the movie they want, and they want to be respectful of me as a director and have me make the movie I want, and it was probably better to part ways on that one, incredibly amicably and painfully. I still get asked about that script. ‘Are you going to make it? Are you going to make it?’ It’s kind of like this underground script in Hollywood now.”
From the sound of it, “Scarface” is not on the back burner any longer. It’s simply not on the stove.