The Counselor (spelled The Counsellor outside the U.S.) was the rare script that – once it had been acquired by producers Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz (The Tree of Life) and Nick Wechsler (Magic Mike) – secured an A-list director, a cast with multiple Oscar-winners, and managed to begin production in less than six months’ time.
Of course, that happens when you’re talking about the first original feature-length spec script that’s been written by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy (whose novels were the basis for No Country for Old Men and The Road) – and the unofficial logline for The Counselor is “No Country for Old Men on steroids.”
Michael Fassbender stars in The Counselor as a respectable attorney who decides to get his hands dirty in the drug business. Fassbender comes up with a “fail-safe” plan that involves unloading $20 million of cocaine across the Mexican border, with help from an eccentric friend (Javier Bardem) and a shady man who knows his way around the business (Brad Pitt).
However, this scheme fails to play out as smoothly as Fassbender planned, and so “The Counselor” soon learns to appreciate Pitt’s bleak words of wisdom: “If your definition of a friend is someone who will die for you… you don’t have any friends.”
The Counselor UK teaser is just that – a glimpse of some horrible things to come – but the sheer intensity and timelessness of the story’s almost Biblical themes (greed, betrayal and the dangers of excess) come through in just forty seconds of footage.
No surprise, director Ridley Scott looks to have captured a moving snapshot of the Mexican borderlands in The Counselor that’s as gorgeously moody and desolate as the alien world setting from Promtheus (his previous Fassbender collaboration). Albeit, with a story which tackles equally heady ideas and dilemmas – as the Alien prequel/spinoff – but with possibly an even stronger Old Testament viciousness to the proceedings.
And can we talk about Bardem’s appearance for a moment? He’s been graced with a better haircut, when compared to the eyesore of a pageboy hairdo that Bardem donned to play Anton Chigurh in No Country for Old Men. Nonetheless, he certainly looks like some kind of unscrupulous weirdo (one who might know rich crooks who own penthouses filled with women and leopards).
Lastly, Cameron Diaz and Penelope Cruz play a pair of female characters who “intrude” into the masculine world of The Counselor and play very important roles in the story. That’s an unusual development for a McCarthy-penned crime tale of this ilk – much less the drug/crime genre – so, it should be very interesting to see what McCarthy and Scott have in store for us with this one.
The Counselor opens in U.S. theaters on October 25th, 2013.
Source: 20th Century Fox