By Edward Davis | The Playlist February 9, 2012 at 9:14PM
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.