KOPPELMAN IN 2010: I DON'T THINK DE PALMA HAS LEGITIMATE PLACE ON LIST OF LEGENDARY DIRECTORS
The on-stage discussion following tonight's Tribeca Film Festival screening of Scarface will be moderated by Brian Koppelman. Koppelman and his longtime writing partner David Levien, who are both currently involved as creators of Showtime's Billions, were the original screenwriters for the Untouchables prequel, Capone Rising, back in 2004 when Antoine Fuqua was attached to direct. (Full circle to today, Fuqua is back on board to direct a new version of Scarface.) Brian De Palma stepped in as director of Capone Rising in 2006, and at some point asked David Rabe to do a rewrite.
In 2010, after the prequel became mired in red tape over who owned the untouchable rights to what/where/when, Koppelman and Levien were interviewed by Coming Soon's Edward Douglas about a movie they had just co-directed, Solitary Man. Douglas also asked them about Capone Rising:
Levien: "The Untouchables" is a situation where Art Linson is the producer and like right in the beginning, before we finished a second draft, he attached Brian De Palma to direct it, and as De Palma's fortunes have gone in Hollywood over his last couple of movies, that's the future of where "The Untouchables" has gone.
Koppelman: On the list of legendary directors, I don't think Brian De Palma has a legitimate place... so most guys who are considered masters I love and admire, and I think De Palma has had a long free ride that's deservedly coming to an end.
[Douglas]: Really? So you're saying that as long he's attached to it, it will never get made?
Koppelman: I don't think it will. Hopefully he'll drop off the movie though, and then they can find a great director for it.
Levien: Mamet says that Hollywood is the most obvious place in the world, so [De Palma's] movies have done so badly lately that the studios [don't] want to hire him right now. If he finds a way to make a movie that is well-received and a big hit, then it's an obvious place, they'll probably think it's a great idea. It's just not something we can affect right now.
Koppelman: Linson is a true impresario and an awesome movie producer and if anyone can figure out how to revive that, he'll do it.
Levien: Or maybe at some point, De Palma will let it go or Linson will decide that he wants to take it to somebody else. Art's a really loyal guy to the guys he's worked with, so it's likely they're fine the way it is and they'll just make it one day. They play like a long game.
[Douglas]: At this point, it's doubtful you could get anyone from the original movie back.
Levien: That was never the intention, because it's the prequel, so it would have been weird.
Tonight's Koppelman-moderated on stage discussion with De Palma, Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Steven Bauer should be very interesting.