Remakes are certainly not a new phenomenon in Hollywood, In fact, a person’s eyebrows are probably more likely to go all Groucho Marx when a film is released that isn’t based on a preexisting piece of source material – whether a book or previously released film.

Today brings news that Hollywood is planning to revive one of the biggest characters in cinematic lore, Tony Montana, for a Scarface remake based on the rag-to-riches story that was immortalized by Al Pacino in Brian DePalma’s 1983 film.

Although that might sound like it has the potential to bastardize the original, initial reports point to Training Day/The Equalizer helmer, Antoine Fuqua, as the man tasked with bringing the cocaine kingpin back into cinemas for modern day audiences to enjoy the Scarface remake.

Al Pacino was 43-years-old when he stepped into the role of Tony Montana. Despite being raised by Sicilian-American parents, he still managed to prove convincing as a Cuban immigrant.

While the “whitewashing of Hollywood” is a hot-button topic in film circles right now, there are several actors – with Latin/Spanish roots and without – who have the acting chops, and are the right age to have audiences, “say hello to the bad guy.”

Here are five actors we think would make a convincing Tony Montana.

Oscar Isaac

Awards Daily

Oscar Isaac’s name has become more recognizable in the last year due to his involvement in Star Wars: The Force Awakens where he played Poe Dameron.

Raised by a Guatemalan mother and a Cuban father, Isaac has proved to be a chameleon as an actor – bouncing between roles as a struggling musician in the Coen Brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis – to something more applicable like his turn as Abel Morales in A Most Violent Year where he played an ambitious immigrant fighting to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city’s history.

Christian Bale

Dennis Van Tine/Future Image/WENN

Yes, on paper it may be strange to have a Welsh actor portray a Cuban drug lord. But if there is any thespian that could pull it off without turning it into a caricature, it’s Christian Bale.

The key to anyone that plays Tony Montana is that we have to both love and loathe the character as he evolves from someone who pulls himself up by the bootstraps by washing dishes to a figure whose overindulgences are sickening.

Bale’s turn as Patrick Bateman in American Psycho and as Dicky Eklund in The Fighter are solid indications that he can craft characters who are equal parts monsters as they are slightly sympathetic characters.

Javier Bardem


Javier Bardem exudes intensity in nearly every role he takes on which is probably why he’s stepped into the shoes of notorious drug lord, Pablo Escobar, in the upcoming film about the notorious kingpin from director Fernando León de Aranoa.

What made Al Pacino’s character so memorable were the little things; the way he slumped in his chair or the childish grin he’d exhibit at the swimming pool. Yes, there were every bit as many over-the-top moments as well, but the quieter and more intimate emotions exuded through gesture instead of dialogue were always what ultimately humanized him.

Javier Bardem is one of but a handful of actors that has the ability to threaten someone without having to resort to on-the-nose dialogue – probably best illustrated in his role as Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men. He plays characters like a bear trap instead of like a bazooka. He invites audiences in to witness the brutality, he doesn’t announce it with a “boom.”

Benicio del Toro

Port Magazine

Many of the rumors surrounding Star Wars: Episode 8 involves Benicia del Toro assuming the role as the main villain in the franchise. While nothing has been confirmed, we can’t help but wonder if he’d like to continue his villainous ways – albeit in a more grounded context where he would be dealing with 8-balls of cocaine instead of BB-8 the droid.

Much like the aforementioned Javier Bardem, each movie that del Toro is in is infinitely better because of his involvement. Whether it’s as a mumbling crook in The Usual Suspects, playing Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, or earning an Academy Award for his role in Traffic – which was a complex dissection of the North American drug wars – del Toro is always top notch.

Dominic Cooper

Bleeding Cool

While he is perhaps best known to modern audiences for his supernatural turn as Jesse Custer on AMC’s wickedly original series, Preacher, Dominic Cooper really exploded into public awareness with 2011’s film, The Devil’s Double, where he portrayed Uday Hussein – the sadistic son of Saddam – and his body double, Latin Yahia, where Cooper was convincing playing two different Iraqi men despite being raised in Greenwich, London.

Essentially, Cooper has already played the aspect of Tony Montana’s life after he ascended to power in Miami – complete with living in massive palaces, donning expensive wardrobes and riding around in a Ferrari.

Words by Alec Banks
Features Editor

Alec Banks is a Los Angeles-based long-form writer with over a decade of experience covering fashion, music, sports, and culture.

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