When word got out that Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy had turned in his first spec script for a feature-length theatrical release (passing over his previous TV work and unproduced screenplays), titled The Counselor, there was no question that reports about a respectable filmmaker expressing interest in directing the project would be quick to follow.
Sure enough, the news is in that Ridley Scott is currently in talks to helm The Counselor. Scott apparently thinks so highly of McCarthy's screen prose, he's already planning to make this project his followup to the upcoming Prometheus - rather than moving ahead with one of the numerous other films he's been connected to recently (more on that later).
Scott has been discussing his ideas for The Counselor directly with McCarthy, with the plan being that he will both direct and produce the film through his Scott Free Entertainment banner. Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz, along with Nick Wechsler - who were also behind the film adaptation of McCarthy's The Road - will presumably be co-producing with Scott, seeing how the author sold them his Counselor script.
Here, according to Deadline, is how Steve Schwartz describes The Counselor:
"Since McCarthy himself wrote the script, we get his own muscular prose directly, with its sexual obsessions. It’s a masculine world into which, unusually, two women intrude to play leading roles. McCarthy’s wit and humor in the dialogue make the nightmare even scarier. This may be one of McCarthy’s most disturbing and powerful works.”
The central plot thread in The Counselor is also said to involve an everyday lawyer, who attempts to make a profit in the drug business, without getting his hands dirty. Much like in McCarthy's No Country for Old Men, that plan quickly goes awry, leaving a trail of blood and shattered dreams in its wake.
Suffice it to say: The Counselor sounds like another wonderfully dark and almost mythical contemporary crime tale from McCarthy, whose storytelling approach naturally lends itself to the cinema. Having a great director like Scott oversee the production offers all the more assurance that the final result could be something quite memorable.
Quite the diverse collection of projects have been listed as possibilities for Scott to direct as the followup to his new film set in the Alien universe (ie. Prometheus) - including, a Gertrude Bell biopic starring Angelina Jolie, a film about would-be revolutionary Simon Mann, the serial killer flick Child 44, and a semi-sequel to his 1982 sci-fi classic, Blade Runner.
Prior to now, it was being indicated that Scott would most likely move ahead next with the new Blade Runner movie. However, as it stands, the director now appears all but set to work on the new McCarthy project instead. All things considered, the news that the filmmaker is tackling more original material next is welcome, in this day and age where familiar material reigns supreme.
We will continue to keep you updated on the status of The Counselor as the story develops.