Just a few days ago (at the time of writing this) Ridley Scott put the brakes on rumors that he is set on moving ahead with a new Blade Runner movie, insisting that the project is far from ready to begin production anytime soon. Scott’s comments also made it all the more obvious that the critically-acclaimed filmmaker intends to next direct one of the other numerous projects he’s attached to – like Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor.

Sure enough, reports are now in that Scott is not only officially committed to make The Counselor his next directing effort, but that he already has a leading man in mind – namely, the star of his upcoming sci-fi film Prometheus, in-demand actor Michael Fassbender.

Deadline has the scoop on Scott’s being officially ready to tackle The Counselor, which will be the first feature-length spec script penned by McCarthy that is brought to cinematic life. The esteemed Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s screenplay has already been generating loads of enthusiastic buzz around Hollywood – as most every director and actor worth their salt wants to work from a screenplay written by the man responsible for novels like No Country for Old Men and The Road.

Scott already has his eye on a May 2012 production start date for The Counselor and is talking to numerous “high-profile actors” about appearing in the film. There are three major roles to be filled – the titular male protagonist and two female characters who “intrude to play leading roles” – so even if Fassbender decides to go ahead and sign on for the McCarthy-penned project, he will surely not be the only noteworthy thespian whose name ends up on the cast list.

Fassbender, of course, has been linked to numerous films over the past several months (the RoboCop reboot, Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, etc.) but the only movie he’s currently committed to working on in the immediate future is Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave. The tentative production timeline for that film may partially overlap with Scott’s planned shooting schedule for The Counselor – however, for the time being, it’s not at all clear if scheduling will indeed be an issue.

The Counselor is being described as “‘No Country for Old Men’ on steroids”, with insiders claiming that the story – about a respectable lawyer who gets in over his head after becoming involved in the illegal drug business – is one of McCarthy’s “most disturbing and powerful works” to date. Pretty bold words, considering that the writer’s previous works have tackled the apocalypse (The Road) and featured murderous necrophiliac protagonists (Child of God) – among other troubling elements.

While Fassbender has not yet been given an official offer to star in The Counselor, it stands to reason that he’ll at least give serious thought to the Scott-McCarthy team effort. Fassbender would naturally make a great addition to a project that already features some terrific storytelling talent working behind the scenes. Not to mention, this is the sort of film that could land the actor the sort of wider Academy recognition that many felt he deserved for his turn in last year’s Shame (*knock on wood* (no pun)).

We will continue to keep you up-to-date on the status of The Counselor as more information is released.

Source: Deadline