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Michael Fassbender May Star In Cormac McCarthy's 'The Counselor'; Ridley Scott Officially Signs On To Direct In May

by Edward Davis
February 9, 2012 9:14 PM
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Michael Fassbender

Maybe those expecting Ridley Scott to make back-to-back sci-fi films (possibly a "Blade Runner" prequel/sequel), should hold their horses a little bit (pun intended). Sure, projects are always up in the air, but celebrated American author Cormac McCarthy's spec script "The Counselor" looks like it's on the fast track to nextsville. The director of "Alien" and its upcoming sorta prequel "Prometheus" was circling the picture last week and has apparently officially committed -- in writing and what not -- to direct the "No Country For Old Men"-esque story (but "on steroids") about a cocky lawyer who naively gets involved in the drug trade, thinking he can tame it, and finds himself caught up in a desperate situation.

Evidently Ridley Scott's first choice to star, so far, is his "Prometheus" co-star and Hollywood man-of-the-moment Michael Fassbender, who sadly was left out of the Oscar Best Actor category this year despite a scorching performance in last year's Steve McQueen sex-addict drama "Shame."

While no deal is apparently done, Deadline, who breaks this news, feels confident that Fassbender will star. This probably seals the deal on Fassbender's involvement in Darren Aronofsky's "Noah's Ark" project. One we already assumed he was out of because of Russell Crowe's mooted involvement, but perhaps this is confirmation. And the difference, ostensibly, is this: while Fassbender is Hollywood's hottest up-and-coming star of the moment, bar maybe Tom Hardy, he's still not enough of a star to lead a $130 million dollar project like 'Noah.' However, "No Country For Old Men" and modern-Western stories of that ilk aren't as effects-driven, so the likelihood of Fassbender being able to topline something more modest like this is much more feasible.

Scott is eyeing a May 1st start date for "The Counselor," so unless a hurricane happens, this one is next for the spry 74-year-old filmmaker who is arguably working at the fastest clip of his career. Deadline says a line of "top actors" have read the script and are also eyeing roles so it's possible more casting announcements are right around the corner.

“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," producer Steve Schwartz said, revealing a few character details about the story. "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.” Like any of us needed convincing. Either way, we're sold.

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  • BEF | February 10, 2012 3:10 PMReply

    Fassy fans stay classy. His role in 12 Years a Slave is a supporting role, leaving the lead to the highly undervalued Chiwetel Ejiofor. He can easily do both -- lest you forget he made about 8 movies last year. I think he can handle top lining the counselor and supporting McQueen, and they're probably both filming in the south, too and he probably will look gruff in both. Just saying the man can do two movies.

  • CL | February 10, 2012 3:27 PM

    Plus... it'll give him the opportunity to get used to the southern twang: win-win! Love the Fass, but his natural accent can creep up in his roles every once in a while (save for Inglourious B's and the roles where he's not not supposed to adopt any set accent).

  • meme | February 10, 2012 6:57 AMReply

    What about 12 Years a Slave? This one is also scheduled to start filming in May/early summer. That's definitely a conflict in schedule for Fassbender.
    Why, when finally he is offered an interesting role in interesting film, that is worthy of his talent, he has to have a conflict in schedule? There is no justice. :(

    I hope it all works out somehow and he will be able to do both films.

  • Oogle monster | February 10, 2012 3:00 PM

    Justice will prevail! JUSTICE FOR FASSY! JUSTICE FOR FASSY!

  • Paul | February 10, 2012 2:52 AMReply

    Sounds great. But fingers crossed that Scott will shoot this on film & not digitally in 3D.... like he said he would ever feature from now on.

  • Justice for Fassy | February 9, 2012 10:44 PMReply

    This sounds equally good as the Noah project. So Yippie! Justice for Fassy.

  • Oogle monster | February 10, 2012 1:54 AM

    Hey you ripped my tagline! But I forgive you AND agree that this sounds equally good as Noah. Maybe even better! You can't go wrong with Cormac. Justice for Fassy!!!

  • tex1 | February 10, 2012 12:21 AM

    Because I don't like two directors?

  • Mike | February 10, 2012 12:08 AM

    Not a fan of Aronofsky and Scott hasn't made a good film since Thelma and Louise, you don't really like much do you?

  • tex1 | February 9, 2012 10:54 PM

    Really? I'm not a big Aronofsky fan, but Ridley Scott hasn't made a good movie, from my perspective, since Thelma and Louise. I do hope Prometheus is good though.

  • Kate | February 9, 2012 9:30 PMReply

    12 Years a Slave is slotted for a summer shoot, though.

    I'll be completely unsuprised when the studio hires someone more famous for this.

  • Juke | February 10, 2012 9:10 AM

    Thelma & Louise? What you smoking son. Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven(Directors Cut), and Black Hawk Down blow the overrated Thelma and Louise out of the water.

  • Oogle monster | February 9, 2012 9:27 PMReply

    YAY Justice for Fassy! This is great news!

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