Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics Watch: Shailene Woodley Gets NSFW In 2 Clips From 'White Bird In A Blizzard' Plus New Pics TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More TIFF Review: 'Cake' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Anna Kendrick, Sam Worthington & More First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ First Look: Matthew McConaughey & Ken Watanabe In Gus Van Sant’s ‘Sea Of Trees’ Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' Tom Hardy Says He'll Never Do Another Romantic Comedy Again Thanks To 'This Means War' David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made David Fincher Apparently Thinks 'Dragon Tattoo' Sequel 'The Girl Who Played With Fire' Could Get Made Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Revisiting On The Rise: Where Are Our 2012 Picks Now? Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Oscars: Dust Settles On The Fall Festivals With No Clear Best Picture Front-Runner (Yet) Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Fall TV Preview: Our 22 Most Anticipated Shows For The Rest Of 2014 Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day Watch: NYFF Trailer Has Snippets Of ‘Inherent Vice’ Footage For Those Checking For Trailers Several Times A Day TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth TIFF Review: 'Still Alice' Starring Julianne Moore, Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin & Kate Bosworth Review: 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them' Starring Jessica Chastain & James McAvoy Review: 'The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby: Them' Starring Jessica Chastain & James McAvoy Jason Reitman Calls ‘Labor Day’ "A Misguided Effort" Jason Reitman Calls ‘Labor Day’ "A Misguided Effort" David Fincher & James Ellroy Plotting 1950s Crime Noir Series For HBO David Fincher & James Ellroy Plotting 1950s Crime Noir Series For HBO Chris Evans On His Directorial Debut ‘Before We Go,’ Filming In New York, & ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Chris Evans On His Directorial Debut ‘Before We Go,’ Filming In New York, & ‘Avengers: Age Of Ultron’ Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” Boardwalk Empire - Season 5 - Episode 1 Recap: “Golden Days For Boys & Girls” The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The Best Documentaries Of 2014 So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The Best Films Of 2014 So Far... The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes The 10 Best & Worst Movie Sex Scenes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Jeremy Renner, Javier Bardem & Natalie Portman In Early Negotiations To Join Michael Fassbender In Ridley Scott's 'The Counselor'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com March 8, 2012 at 9:19PM

Ever since its surprise announcement a month or so back, "The Counselor," the first script written directly for the screen by Pulitzer Prize-winner Cormac McCarthy, author of "No Country For Old Men" and "The Road," has been one of the hottest projects in Hollywood. Swiftly snapped up by the producers of "The Road," the film soon had Ridley Scott attached to direct, and man-of-the-moment Michael Fassbender locked into the lead role, an attorney who gets way over their head in the drugs trade.
9
Renner Portman Bardem The Counselor

Ever since its surprise announcement a month or so back, "The Counselor," the first script written directly for the screen by Pulitzer Prize-winner Cormac McCarthy, author of "No Country For Old Men" and "The Road," has been one of the hottest projects in Hollywood. Swiftly snapped up by the producers of "The Road," the film soon had Ridley Scott attached to direct, and man-of-the-moment Michael Fassbender locked into the lead role, an attorney who gets way over their head in the drugs trade.

But while a host of A-list talent were mentioned in connection with other roles, little solid information has slipped out to date as to who might end up joining Fassbender in the project. Having got our grubby fingers on the script, we weighed in a week or two back on who we'd put on the film if we got our way, but now Scott seems to have had his say, as Twitch has learned that three actors are in early talks to come on board the project.

According to the well-connected site, both Jeremy Renner and Javier Bardem, who were previously mentioned as circling the film, are having 'preliminary conversations' to join the film, while Natalie Portman is also in negotations for the female lead, Laura, the fiancee of Fassbender's character, which would mark her first return to the screen since her Oscar win for "Black Swan." No longer in the running, it would seem: Brad Pitt, was originally mentioned in the same breath as Renner and Bardem.

We have to say, there are some questions here that remain to be answered. Twitch states that both Renner and Bardem are in talks for the same part, that of Reiner, a criminal who brings The Counselor into the drugs trade, who they describe as 'the villain of the piece.' But as you'll have noted from our look at the script, it's a stretch to describe the role as a villain. Furthermore, it seems like poor practice for both to be in talks for the same part: given there's one other substantial male part, of another drug-running type, Westray, could they both end up in the film? We'd peg Renner for the role of Reiner, and Bardem for the Westray part, but it's feasible that it might end up the other way around.

That being said, Twitch are normally on the money, so it's possible that we're in an either/or situation with Renner and Bardem, although it's odd to think of them as being up for the same part. As for Portman, she seems to have a hole in her schedule, but it's a brief one: she'll shoot two Terrence Malick films, "Lawless" and "Knight of Cups" in the second half of the year, along with superhero sequel "Thor 2," so one would hope that the film doesn't have its start date pushed back.

Assuming that all three end up in the film, we'd still prefer our own picks based on the script (Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Strong and Jessica Chastain), but it's hard to get too upset about a line-up of talent like this. And arguably the most indelible part in the script, that of Reiner's other half, Malkina, is yet to be cast, and we're intrigued to see where Scott goes to fill that role. All being well, shooting on "The Counselor" gets underway in May, and it's hard to think of a 2013 movie that'll be more anticipated.

This article is related to: The Counselor, Ridley Scott, Jeremy Renner, Javier Bardem, Natalie Portman


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates