Cormac McCarthy Delivers The Counsellor

His first crack at scripting

Usually when the words and worlds of Cormac McCarthy have hit our cinema screens, they’ve been filtered through the filmmakers who adapted his novels – the Coens on No Country For Old Men or Joe Penhall on The Road. But after seeing his books go successfully through the cinematic process, the author has decided to have a crack at getting his vision up directly, turning screenwriter for The Counsellor.

Deadline reports that McCarthy surprised his book editors by sending them the script when they were waiting for his next novel (crafting a screenplay as a break from penning a book? The man needs to learn the meaning of the word procrastination! Daytime TV, Mr McCarthy!) The plot finds a respected lawyer who believes he’s smart enough to try his hand at the drug business without being dragged down into the world, but in true McCarthy style, discovers that he’s very wrong.

Producers Nick Wechsler, Steve Schwartz and Paula Mae Schwartz acted quickly when they saw that McCarthy had the spec script available for sale, snapping up the rights before a bidding war could ensue. It doesn’t hurt that they have a relationship with him, having helped director John Hillcoat get The Road into cinemas.

“Since McCarthy himself wrote the script, we get his own muscular prose directly, with its sexual obsessions,” Steven Schwartz tells the site. “It’s a masculine world into which, unusually, two women intrude to play leading roles. McCarthy’s wit and humour in the dialogue make the nightmare even scarier. This may be one of McCarthy’s most disturbing and powerful works.”

It’s early days for the script, but we figure directors are going to come running to take this one on.