The producers behind the Cormac McCarthy adaptation of post-apocalyptic drama The Road have made a deal with the author to produce his first spec script, The Counselor. The writer’s agents were apparently waiting for his next novel, but he delivered a screenplay instead — which is being described as a dark legal drama set in the Southwest. If you know McCarthy’s work, then you’ll already understand this won’t be some terrible John Grisham throwaway thing. Producer Steve Schwartz spoke to Deadline about the project, centering on a respected lawyer who gets sucked into the drug trade and fights to survive the ordeal:
“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 Road didn’t have the same command over audiences as the book, while No Country for Old Men remains the greatest adaptation of a McCarthy tale yet. Will a screenplay written by the scribe make it more difficult to translate on film? Some have suggested that McCarthy may be unfilmable, like Faulkner, but he’s vehemently disagreed with that sentiment in the past. When the Wall Street Journal asked the writer if his critically acclaimed Blood Meridian — which follows a teenage runaway amongst 19th century bounty hunters in the American Southwest who are recovering Indian scalps — was impossible to put to film, McCarthy had this to say:
“That’s all crap. The fact that’s it’s a bleak and bloody story has nothing to do with whether or not you can put it on the screen. That’s not the issue. The issue is it would be very difficult to do and would require someone with a bountiful imagination and a lot of balls. But the payoff could be extraordinary.”
Here’s hoping they find the right filmmaker for the job. Care to speculate who might be right? Share your thoughts below.