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The Counselor

Post by Admin on Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:58 pm

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Ridley Scott to direct Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor
Michael Fassbender in talks to star
Feb 10th 2012 By Josh Winning

Ridley Scott already has two massive sci-fi projects in the works – Prometheus and Blade Runner 2 – but that hasn’t stopped the director signing up to yet another gig in the form of drug drama The Counselor.

You can see why he'd be tempted. It's the second screenplay from renowned author Cormac McCarthy (his first was The Gardener’s Son), and follows a well-respected lawyer who attempts to enter the drug business, but soon discovers he’s out of his depth.

Industry insiders are likening Counselor to McCarthy’s exceptional novel No Country For Old Men, which was previously turned into a movie by the Coen Brothers.

Better yet, word is that Michael Fassbender is being courted to play the film’s lawyer. That would make sense seeing as Fassy is one of the most exciting actors working today – and he’s recently finished a gig with Scott on Prometheus.

Considering the calibre of talent involved, The Counselor is definitely one to keep an eye on – especially if it turns out to be on a par with the excellent No Country For Old Men.

Before all of that, though, Prometheus opens on 1 June 2012.

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Re: The Counselor

Post by Admin on Tue Feb 21, 2012 9:06 pm

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TOLDJA! Michael Fassbender Commits To Ridley Scott-Directed ‘The Counselor’
By MIKE FLEMING | Tuesday February 21, 2012 @ 3:01pm EST

Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Michael Fassbender has committed to star in The Counselor, the Cormac McCarthy-scripted thriller that Ridley Scott is making his next film. Deadline told you February 9 that Scott went right to Fassbender, who stars in Prometheus for Scott and 20th Century Fox. Scott has landed one of the hottest actors in Hollywood, is eyeing a May 1 start date, and talking to a number of high-profile actors to take part in a film that insiders are describing as “No Country For Old Men on steroids.” The Counselor is reminiscent of the rough-and-tumble world depicted in the Oscar-winning adaptation of McCarthy’s novel No Country For Old Men. The protagonist is a respected lawyer who thinks he can dip a toe in to the drug business without getting sucked down. It is a bad decision and he tries his best to survive it and get out of a desperate situation.

Now, Scott has to get his bad guy. Last time there was a villain like this conjured up by McCarthy, Javier Bardem played him and won an Oscar in No Country For Old Men. I’m hearing names like Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper and even some unexpected candidates like Brad Pitt, whose career launched in Scott’s Thelma & Louise.

The material is controlled by producers Nick Wechsler and Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz, who were invited by McCarthy’s ICM agents to get a peek (they produced the adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road). The producers bought it and Scott Free came aboard as producers with them when Scott committed. The film isn’t set at a studio and it is unclear when it will be.

Fassbender, who’s coming off Shame, Haywire, A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre and X-Men: First Class, is repped by CAA. He’s due to reteam with Shame helmer Steve McQueen in Twelve Years A Slave.

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Re: The Counselor

Post by Admin on Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:42 am

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Screenplay Review - The Counselor (The Return Of Roger!!!)
An old friend drops by Scriptshadow to review a screenplay from one of the biggest writers in the world, Cormac McCarthy!

Carson here. Lots of interest in today's script. I was going to review it but I know next to nothing about Cormac McCarthy. I knew if I was going to do this right, I would have to find the greatest living Cormac McCarthy fan in the world, a man who used to grace Scriptshadow with his presence on a weekly basis. But how to find him? Last I'd heard, Roger Balfour had conned his way onto the set of The Hangover 2 as an extra. Not sure if he made the cut. Well, after exhausting my entire Rolodex, I finally found him, dehydrated and half-comatose in a South American dog breeding clinic. When I asked him to review Cormac McCarthy's first screenplay he replied, "Where are my pants?" That was good enough for me. -- Now I've been hearing all sorts of things about this script. Some have called it unreadable (literally! - Cormac invents his own screenplay format!). Some have called it genius. And the people who call it unreadable can't fathom how anyone could like this script. They think the lovers are reading it through Cormac-tinted glasses. Anyway, I've been too afraid to open it. I'll let Roger take care of that. Oh, and just a reminder. The Disciple Program debuts in three days!!!!!!

Genre: Crime/Drama/Thriller
Premise: A respectable lawyer gets in over his head after becoming involved in the illegal drug business.
About: Deadline Hollywood described this script as “No Country for Old Men on steroids”. McCarthy was at work on three different novels when he turned this screenplay into his agent. Ridley Scott soon attached himself to the project as director, with his Prometheus star Michael Fassbender in mind to play the lead. Interestingly, there are also two female roles up for grabs “who intrude to play leading roles”.
Writer: Cormac McCarthy
Details: PDF created on January 20, 2012


Now this is what a writer looks like!

This script made me want to commit suicide. It was so bleak, it made me want to overdose on heroin while skydiving into an avalanche of naked women.

Whoa. Rewind. Roger, where have you been the past year and a half?

Brian K. Vaughan says that the ages between 22 and 27 are important years in a male’s life. The things that happen during that timeframe shape and guide the transformation of a boy into a man. I spent the past year and a half becoming a man.

My journey started in the Philippines, where I worked in the anime industry as a Foley Artist. It was here that I learned someone has to create the sound fx for a tentacle violating an orifice. That someone was me. Sometimes I would do nothing but stand on a soundstage and plunge my hand in and out of a peanut bar jar for fourteen hours straight. I grew a beard and air-licked microphones, the resultant sound was used in children’s cartoons in Australia. But life couldn’t be squishy and honey-roasted forever.

You can only hide from your destiny for so long before it comes looking for you. And if your destiny is writing, then your destiny kicks you in the teeth, yanks you out of your cushy Foley Artist gig and turns you into a creature of dreaming and longing.

I spent a lot of time writing poems about He-Man while sitting alone in hotel rooms eating Ritz crackers. I snorted chamomile tea and cat nip through rolled-up Bukowski poems and called it the hipster speedball. The hipster speedball helped me write and publish an Animorphs novel that was about a boy who grows an owl’s beak that was really a Bildungsroman about first boners. I posed for my author photo in front of a shelf full of Star Trek novels and was called gorgeous. I wanted to write a sequel but couldn’t. I got fingered by the ghost of Hal Ashby and for a week all my dreams were like Wes Anderson movies yet to be made. I watched the first season of Downton Abbey in one sitting with a 20-year old girl who thought she was the fifth Pevensie sibling. We held hands the whole time and shared an Edwardian world together but afterwards we never saw each other again. Like Tom Hanks in Cast Away, I made my own Wilson out of a prenatal body pillow and dealt with my sadness by straddling Wilson and making Wilson watch me punish my Sailor Moon bedsheets. I read fantasy novels and ate confectionaries and did p90X. I became better, stronger, faster and wondered how Tron Legacy got made and if Oblivion would be better. I wondered why they never did a storyline on The Gilmore Girls where a guy dates both the mom and the daughter at the same time. I decided to amend this oversight and wrote the teleplay on spec with me as the guy and when I presented it to Amy Sherman-Palladino she politely informed me the show had been cancelled and she consoled me as I wept into a burrito by saying, “There there, young Balfour. There there. You wrote a Gilmore Girls script. You are a true man, now.”

Sorry we asked. So, you read Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor?

Twice. The first time because I’m a legitimate Southern-fried McCarthy scholar and the second time because I only vaguely understood it the first time. Have you ever tried to watch a movie and halfway through, think, “Man, I don’t think I understand the plot but I’m pretty excited by all the violence”? I did that a couple weeks ago when I saw Steven Soderbergh’s Haywire. Sometimes when I see art films, I think, “Man, this is pretty unconventional but I also feel sad and I kind of want to stick my head in an oven like Sylvia Plath.” I did that a couple of weeks ago when I saw Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine. The Counselor kind of combines both of those ambivalent sensations and does so with Faulkner-in-Sanctuary-mode panache.

You ever receive a screenplay and open it up and think, “What the f&#! is this? A play?” Because I did that, too. As someone who works as a screenwriter, as someone who took many years to adapt to the industry’s formatting and conventions, my first instinct was to scream, “f&#! this guy! How dare he invent his own screenwriting format! Who the f&#! does this guy think he is?!”

Oh, it’s Cormac McCarthy. He won the Guggenheim Fellowship, also known as The Genius Award. In addition, not only has he won the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Award, but he also won Pulitzer Prize for fiction for The Road. With those kind of laurels, you can kind of do whatever you want.

Still, this raises the question, in the world of screenplays, do we still hold such an author to the same standards as everyone else? When it comes to story and character, yes. But, when it comes to formatting and breaking rules, you’re just gonna have to leave your specialized mindset at the door. There’s an excellent article on creativity in Psychology Today that says, “The more expert and specialized a person becomes, the more their mindset becomes narrowed and the more fixated they become on conforming what they believe to be absolute. Consequently, when confronted with new and different ideas, their focus will be on conformity. Does it conform with what I know is right? If not, experts will spend all their time showing and explaining why it can’t be done and why it can’t work.”

I’m not here to do that. Look, even in the world of novels, McCarthy has always gone against the grain. The man doesn’t like semicolons and uses commas sparingly, so the glue holding all the sentences together are contractions. He never uses quotation marks either. Why should we expect anything different in one of his scripts? He doesn’t see the need for slugs. Diagramming some of his sentences in the AD lines is like a choose-your-own-adventure story. He still writes on an Olivetti typewriter. These pages were probably collected in a shoebox and then quickly retyped by an assistant into MS Word.

It’s kind of like having a not-playfully racist grandfather who is set in his ways. Sure, you can try to tell him that the word “negress” is not considered proper lexicon in polite society, but what’s the point? He’s just gonna keep on truckin’ till his number’s up. (Double Cliché).

So, what’s the story about, Rog?

Think Body Heat or the Edgerton’s The Square but set against the backdrop of the border world McCarthy explores so well in his Border Trilogy and novel, Blood Meridian. If these stories exist in a Venn diagram, they take place inside the circle where the not so insulated worlds of Mexico and the United States collide. This territory is a no man’s land where characters from the so-called civilized world experience great violence and brutality, where destiny has its own gravitational pull and the best at surviving the territory are those who are so damaged they’ve transcended polite society’s moral code. It is a place heroism is not rewarded. It’s punished. If you don’t believe me, look at the ending to No Country for Old Men. In the face of evil, only other predators have a chance at surviving.

So, it’s no surprise that McCarthy chooses to tell a cautionary tale set against the drug war violence that is taking place in Mexico right now. In Mexico, murder has become a national pastime. It is a collective enterprise. And, it is spilling over into our border towns.

Who are the characters?

This is the tale of the Counselor, a man, who when we first meet him, is in bed with the love of his life, Laura. We see him in Amsterdam, in a jeweler’s shop, procuring the perfect diamond for his bride to be. We’re treated to a philosophical and prophetic lesson from the Dealer. He tells the Counselor the Jewish civilization is the only true civilization, and that any country that has driven the Jews out has never been the same. He waxes a McCarthy monologue about the one true God, who is immovable, and tells us that stones are the true witnesses since they’ve been around since the beginning. When the Counselor picks out his diamond for Laura, the Dealer says, “This is a cautionary stone. You will see.”

Intercut this with the intriguing couple of Reiner and Malkina, who are in the Southwest desert hunting with their pet cheetahs. Yes, this couple, who seem like some kind of S&M Hemingway power-duo, own cheetahs. More specifically, they are Malkina’s cheetahs, and Malkina is the one we ought to be paying attention to. A native of Buenos Aires, we notice the Egyptian cat tattooed on her brown skin. She’s sexy, possessing a Moriarty-like intelligence so cunning even her beau, Reiner, is terrified of her. Another important note about Malkina is that she knows her way around technology, around computers. She might also be quite mad. Perhaps we’re supposed to think she makes Lisbeth Salander seem like a Disney princess in comparison.

The third strand in this tapestry is a septic tank truck that is making its way from Mexico to the United States, which we can assume is loaded up with about twenty million dollars worth of Colombia’s finest. All these elements we are introduced to as the opening credits are playing.

What’s the caper, Rog?

Much like the protagonists in Body Heat and The Square, the Counselor is motivated by his love and lust for a woman. Because of her, he wants to get rich quick. He decides to go all in concerning a business venture with Reiner, who has learned never to speak in arraignable phrases. Reiner is filthy rich because his demeanor and surroundings and the gifts he provides for Malkina tell us so. And it’s easy to see that Reiner’s source of wealth comes from mines that aren’t always legal.

The idea is to get into the drug business unnoticed while all the cartels are busy killing each other. That septic tank truck from earlier? It’s carrying 625 kilos of cocaine from Mexico to Chicago and will sell for two grand an ounce on the street, meaning this is a twenty-million dollar payload for all involved. The Counselor asks, “If the drug wars stop this will dry up, right? “Yeah. Bad times are good times for guys like us.”

But, what happens if the cartels find out about this new start-up company? The answer to that question, as we learn in the second half of the script, is very bad things. The characters tell us that three thousand people were killed in Juarez alone last year. We learn something about the nature of the men in these cartels. Before the drug wars, thousands of young and attractive factory workers were being kidnapped and sexually mutilated. The maquila girls, they were called.

The money trail led to the men in the cartels. “So much cash you’re using it to insulate your own house and you’re morally depraved out of all human recognition, what will you spend your money on?” The answer to that, is snuff films, and we learn that we’re probably not separated more than two degrees by someone who has seen a snuff film.

When it comes to men who have kidnappers on full retainer, even the smallest little detail becomes life or death for the Counselor and everyone he knows. There’s a lot of talk about the dangers of dabbling into this trade, and in fact, most of the scenes in the script are characters warning the Counselor. One of the characters even quotes Blood Meridian at one point, “Yet even the smallest crumb can devour us.”

So, what’s the crumb that devours everyone, Rog?

There’s a drug runner, a character named Young Man, who is to rendevouz with the septic tank truck and presumably drive it to Chicago. Except, you know, he never makes it to the truck.

There’s another problem. Not only does the Counselor have to worry about what may become of the drug runner, there are complications with the money people. He has to get money into Mexico and get it back out again. In order to do this, one has to filter the money through a corporation, which means there has to be a money person on the inside handling all of the bank transactions, “The biggest issue is that your guy is not going to fall in love with a pole dancer and go south with three million of your ducats. The biggest issue is that someone is going to find out who he is and what he’s up to.”

In one of the more creative ways of killing a drug runner I think I’ve ever heard about or seen, we learn that there are other parties looking to intercept this shipment of drugs and ruin everything for the Counselor. To complicate matters, the Counselor is linked to the drug runner in a way that is most unfortunate and may redefine dramatic irony.

It’s interesting to note that the main story involves all of the men in the script, and it dovetails with character revelations concerning Malkina, as shown by her scenes with Laura (she has an ominous dream about Malkina; pay attention to the scene at the confessional) and the stories Reiner tells about her. Although Reiner, being a criminal, is concerned about the cartel men, he is genuinely frightened of his own girlfriend. His views on women could probably be called misogynistic, and it’s the type of misogyny only a man who has been twice divorced can really relish.

Of course, everything goes wrong for our guys and the most exciting part of the script is seeing how that all unfolds. I’m not exaggerating when s$#! hits the fan and a line forms to kill the Counselor. My favorite part was seeing how one specific character reacts to all this misfortune and how they enact revenge on some of the parties responsible.

What do you think attracted Ridley Scott to this script?

Ridley Scott has been trying to adapt Cormac’s novel, Blood Meridian, for a long time now. There’s even a draft floating around penned by William Monahan, but even Scott can be quoted as saying that adapting McCarthy is a difficult gambit because the work is so prosaic, and much of the power comes from the violent beauty of his language. The sentences weave a spell, and I think the closest we get to that in The Counselor are the strange monologues that hint at some darker premonition.

Take for example a tale by Reiner about his girlfriend, the mysterious Malkina. She’s a lover of fast things. Not only does she own two cheetahs, her club is decorated with actual racing cars. Reiner is scared of Malkina, and he tells the Counselor a true story about how she f&%$#& one of his cars. Here’s his description of her bumping her ugly against the windshield, “It was like one of those catfish things. One of those bottom feeders you see going up the side of the aquarium. Sucking its way up the glass...hallucinatory...You see a thing like that, it changes you.”

Or, it reminds you of a face hugger sucking at the glass of a specimen jar in Alien, and you can’t help but think McCarthy was trying to seduce Ridley Scott as he wrote this f#%@#&! thing.

So, what’s the verdict, Rog?

I think McCarthy fans, who relish the poetry, tone and cadence of his language, and appreciate his stylized and precise dialogue, will love the movie. And, I’m mainly talking about those who are fans of his play The Sunset Limited or the film version of No Country for Old Men. Because The Counselor has a lot of dialogue, and a lot of the scenes feel play-like in the same way that Tarantino conversations feel play-like. I think it hearkens back to older movies, where there are more scenes of simply people sitting in diners or at tables and desks, talking.

It’s a challenging piece of art, thought-provoking, no doubt, but I also think it may just be this strange and alienating movie to people who aren’t already fans of McCarthy. It feels exhausting and was certainly a punch to the gut.

If you subscribe to the Chris Columbus philosophy, the one that says, “I can understand the validity of showing people the ugliness of the world, but I also think there is a place for movies to leave people with a sense of hope. If your film isn’t going to do that, I just don’t think it’s worth making,” then you may be turned off by this work. Cormac writes about life and death, and the concept of hope is often a foreign one in his tales, more the subject of philosophical debate between characters.

My interpretation, after having a chance to let this thing settle for a few days, is that Cormac is making a point. Violence overtook Mexico because so many people closed their eyes to it. If America continues to close our eyes and ignore the drug war violence, it will only be a matter of time before it overtakes us, too.

On another level, according to the finale, I saw The Counselor as a woman’s revenge story, a femme fatale f&#!-you to all the violence done against women in Juarez, Mexico. The Counselor is kind of like the Cormac McCarthy version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

[ ] Wait for the rewrite
[ ] wasn’t for me
[xx] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Rewarding VS Punishing the Protagonist. Usually, in movies where the hero is being an actual hero, you know, making the right kind of decisions, doing heroic things like be willing to put his life in danger and even sacrifice his well-being to achieve a goal, the common thing to do is to reward the character with victory at the end of the story. But with stuff like Body Heat, The Square, No Country for Old Men and this script, these are all about guys motivated by their lust and love for a woman. They want to spend the rest of their lives with this woman, and they want to illegally land a nice nest egg on which they can retire on with this woman. They compromise their own sense of morality and ethics, and in the audience’s eyes, do something that is considered illegal to obtain this nest egg. Thus begins the downward spiral of making bad decisions that always leads to death, or punishment, for the protagonist. Things just get worse and worse. The rule of thumb for protagonists that do something that upsets the collective audience’s sense of ethics or morals or code of conduct, is to punish the protagonist. If the protagonist were to get away with the caper, this would upset the audience on some level. McCarthy is interesting because he pits this character making bad decisions against predators who just might be the embodiment of evil, so deep down you kind of want these guys to win, but it’s always the most f&%$#&-up person that gets away with their lives in the end and wins the game. It’s something to think about.


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Re: The Counselor

Post by Admin on Fri Mar 09, 2012 3:42 am

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Jeremy Renner, Javier Bardem & Natalie Portman In Early Negotiations To Join Michael Fassbender In Ridley Scott's 'The Counselor'
News by Oliver Lyttelton | March 8, 2012 | 3 Comments

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.

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Re: The Counselor

Post by Admin on Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:51 pm

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Ridley Scott Talks The Counsellor
'It's classic Cormac McCarthy darkness'
26 March 2012

With the finishing touches being applied to Prometheus, Ridley Scott's thoughts are already turning to his next project, The Counsellor. The great Cormac McCarthy is the man behind the script - his first original screenplay to date - and the director is gearing up to start shooting in mid-June, almost as soon as he's finished with his Prometheus press duties. No sunbathing and sangria for this man.

"We start a week after Prometheus comes out," says Scott, who's been speaking to Empire about the dark-hued crime thriller McCarthy has penned. "It has a classic Cormac McCarthy darkness which makes you sick to the pit of your stomach. It's really frightening. It's saying: 'Don't play with the devil, don't step across the line, don't think you can do it and get away with it. You can't'."

Shades of Prometheus' playing-with-fire theme perhaps? Like No Country For Old Men, McCarthy's novel that was turned into a mod-noir Western to such terrific effect by the Coen brothers, The Counsellor pitches a venal man in deep and over his head. That man is a respected lawyer (Michael Fassbender) who dips a toe into the drug business without preparing himself for the bleak consequences.

It's well-trodden McCarthy turf but something of a departure for Scott, who talks enthusiastically about the identity parade of good, bad and ugly characters the writer has created: "There are five wonderful characters with honestly some of the best dialogue I've ever read."

For more Sir Ridley exclusives on The Counsellor and Prometheus, check out Empire's June issue. It's on sale from March 29.
Phil de Semlyen

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Re: The Counselor

Post by Admin on Mon Apr 09, 2012 11:10 pm

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New Regency In Talks To Co-Finance, Distribute ‘Twelve Years A Slave’
By MIKE FLEMING | Monday April 9, 2012 @ 7:57pm EDTTags: Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender, New Regency, Steve McQueen, Twelve Years A Slave
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Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: New Regency is in talks to co-finance and distribute (through its output deal with 20th Century Fox) the Steve McQueen-directed Twelve Years A Slave, an adaptation of the Solomon Northup memoir originally published in 1853. Chiwetel Ejiofor will play Northup, and Michael Fassbender will reunite with Shame director McQueen. Fassbender will play a plantation owner. Brad Pitt will play a Northern lawyer who helps free Northup and he and his Plan B banner will produce the film.

Northup was born free but after signing on with two men claiming to be circus promoters who wanted him for his violin skills, Northup was drugged and awoke in a slave pen in DC. He was forced to claim he had been born a slave in Georgia and was transported to Louisiana where he suffered the indignity of slavey and was often beaten brutally. After confiding in a white carpenter from Canada who came to the property to do a job, and who believed Northup’s story, Northup was able to get word to his wife back in New York, who was finally able to start the legal process that allowed Northup to regain the freedom that had been stolen from him.

The cast has been circling the $20 million movie since McQueen decided to direct it when his film Shame began garnering critical acclaim late last year. It was then a matter of CAA finding a way to fund it. River Road’s Bill Pohlad came on to provide a substantial piece of the financing and Summit sold international territories. Now, if the deal with New Regency closes–I hear it’s close to done–the pic becomes a reality with Regency joining Plan B and Pohlad as producers. Shooting starts late June in Louisiana.

It broadens Regency’s relationship with Plan B; New Regency recently came aboard to finance True Story, the Rupert Goold-directed adaptation of a memoir by Michael Finkel, a disgraced New York Times journalist who discovered that an accused murderer had stolen his identity. Once caught, the fugitive would only talk to the journalist. Jonah Hill is playing Finkel and James Franco is set to play Christian Longo, who was captured in Mexico after rising near the top of the FBI Ten Most Wanted List for allegedly killing his family. Production will begin in July and Fox will distribute. Dave Kajganich wrote the script.

Regency and Plan B are also teamed on The Gray Man, a star vehicle for Pitt based on the Mark Greaney novel that was scripted by Adam Cozad, with Plan B and Shine Pictures producing.

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Re: The Counselor

Post by Admin on Tue Apr 10, 2012 8:27 pm

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Today at 12:15 PM


Ridley Scott’s The Counselor Piques Interest of Fox, Angelina Jolie

By Claude Brodesser-Akner

You can call it "No Country for Cold Men."

Insiders tell us that Ridley Scott's planned Cormac McCarthy narco-thriller, The Counselor, is rapidly heating up, so much so that Twentieth Century Fox is now in active discussions to distribute and possibly co-finance the movie — provided Scott gets the white-hot cast he's seeking.

For instance, on top of Michael Fassbender, who has previously been confirmed to star (which would mark his second collaboration with Scott following this summer's Prometheus), a Fox insider tells us that Angelina Jolie is in talks with Scott to take a small part.

The film, based on an original script by McCarthy, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Road and No Country for Old Men, is about a lawyer who wants to get just a little bit involved in the drug business. He then discovers that there's no such thing as a little bit involved in the drug business.

Intriguingly, Disney announced yesterday that Jolie's upcoming film Maleficent will be released in the United States on March 14, 2014 — almost two years from now. Scott plans to start filming The Counselor this June, while Maleficent doesn't start until late June or early July, theoretically leaving Jolie enough room for a cameo.

It's too early to tell whether these high-flying talent talks will pan out, but one thing is clear: Fox will most likely be involved if the above names are above the title. We'll keep you posted.

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Re: The Counselor

Post by Admin on Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:12 pm

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By Claire Rutter On April 11, 2012
Angelina Jolie To Star Opposite Michael Fassbender In The Counsellor?

Actress is in talks to join new project...

Angelina Jolie is reportedly in talks to star opposite Michael Fassbender in Ridley Scott's new movie The Counsellor.

The Oscar-winning actress is said to be considering the smaller role in the film rather than a full on leading lady part.

Shame actor Michael Fassbender has already been confirmed for a part in the film which was written by Cormac McCarthy, who also wrote No Country For Old Men and The Road.

According to Contactmusic.com, the new movie will follow a lawyer who makes the decision to dabble in drugs trade but then realises that it's impossible to do it just "a little bit".

Ridley Scott recently said of the film: "[It's a story of how] you shouldn't play with the devil, don't step across the line, don't think you can do it and get away with it. You can't."

Angelina has also been lined up to play Malefecent in a remake of Sleeping Beauty and she's also allegedly interested in playing Kate Middleton in a new movie.

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Re: The Counselor

Post by Admin on Thu May 24, 2012 11:22 pm

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Cannes: Brad Pitt Talks The Counselor
He’s a Cormac McCarthy junkie
23 May 2012

In just a few weeks, shooting begins on Ridley Scott’s The Counselor. Based on an original screenplay by legendary novelist Cormac McCarthy, with Ridley Scott in the directing chair and a crackerjack cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Jeremy Renner, Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt, it frankly couldn’t sound better.

Our excitement is clearly shared by Pitt, who’s in Cannes for the world premiere of Andrew Dominik’s crime thriller Killing Me Softly, and who said a few words about The Counselor to us earlier today.

“I’m only doing a few days on that,” he explains. “Andrew and I are both Cormac McCarthy fans — I mean, I’ve read every word the guy’s published and most of them more than once. So this was a chance to do something of his and also to work with Ridley again. Ridley gave me my first break into the big leagues [with 1991’s Thelma & Louise]. And I’m a Fassbender fanatic too.”

Though his part is small, Pitt has proven himself well capable of stealing the show with a cameo: think his scuzzy hitchhiker J.D. in Thelma & Louise, or bong-loving layabout Floyd in True Romance. In The Counselor he plays a character called Westray, who helps Fassbender’s lawyer get hold of a $20 million stash of cocaine. So, following his hitman in Killing Me Softly, it’s fair to say he’s playing another criminal?

“You know, I kinda am,” considers Pitt. “It’s ill-defined, but yeah, I kinda am.”
Nick de Semlyen

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Re: The Counselor

Post by Admin on Sat Jul 28, 2012 7:43 pm

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Posted: Fri., Jul. 27, 2012, 1:33pm PT
Rosie Perez retains 'The Counselor'
Joins Pitt, Fassbender in Ridley Scott drama for Fox
By Justin Kroll
Rosie Perez has boarded Ridley Scott's "The Counselor," joining a cast that includes Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz.

Cormac McCarthy penned the script about a lawyer who attempts to get into the drug business. Fox will distribute with Scott, Steve Schwartz, Nick Wechsler and Paula Mae Schwartz producing for Scott Free and Chockstone Pictures.

Perez can be seen next in Walden Media's "Won't Back Down." She is repped by ICM Partners and Authentic Talent and Literary Management.


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Re: The Counselor

Post by Admin on Mon Jul 30, 2012 11:51 pm

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Brad Pitt Cowboy Costume in The Counselor
Brad Pitt Makes One Seriously Hot Cowboy on Set

Posted on July 30, 2012 8:13PM by Lauren Turner ·

Brad Pitt got into character with a cowboy hat and facial hair for The Counselor in London today. He's starting work on the Ridley Scott-directed film, which he'll apparently only shoot for a few days. The drama is based on a screenplay by author Cormac McCarthy and follows a lawyer as he gets into the drug business. Also reportedly lined up for the project are Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, and Javier Bardem.

Brad's on set in the UK, where he and Angelina Jolie have been staying as a family since Angelina began filming Maleficent in June. She's been in full costume and has had visits from her kids in between takes. Brad, meanwhile, traveled to Germany and also met up with pal George Clooney in the UK during his downtime.

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Re: The Counselor

Post by Admin on Tue Aug 21, 2012 12:43 am

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Ridley Scott Suspends 'The Counselor' Shoot in Wake of Brother's Death
12:40 PM PDT 8/20/2012 by Borys Kit

Tony and Ridley Scott
The director has traveled from London to Los Angeles to be with the Scott family.

Production on The Counselor, the all-star drug drama being directed by Ridley Scott, has been suspended in the wake of his brother Tony Scott’s sudden death, sources confirm to The Hollywood Reporter.

Tony Scott Autopsy Scheduled as Reports Conflict Over Brain Cancer
David Krumholtz Remembers Tony Scott, 'Numbers' Producer, in Late-Night Letter

PHOTOS: Tony Scott's Films: From 'Top Gun' to 'Unstoppable'

Ridley Scott was shooting Counselor in London when he received the news that his brother had likely committed suicide by jumping from a Los Angeles-area bridge. Ridley made the decision to halt shooting for the week and travel to L.A. to be with the Scott family.

STORY: 'Top Gun' Director Tony Scott Jumps to His Death From Bridge

Counselor, a 20th Century Fox film, features an A-list cast including Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt. Author Cormac McCarthy wrote the script. It's just one of several film and TV projects that the Scott brothers were developing.

Tony Scott is survived by his wife and two children.

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Re: The Counselor

Post by Admin on Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:33 pm

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Ridley Scott Resumes ‘The Counselor’ Monday
By NANCY TARTAGLIONE, International Editor | Sunday, 2 September 2012 21:29

The filmmaker put the movie on hiatus for two weeks. He left the set of The Counselor so he could travel from London to Hollywood and handle his brother’s affairs after Tony Scott’s tragic death. Now director/producer Ridley Scott is starting production back up on The Counselor for Fox Monday, with Michael Fassbender back on set Tuesday in London. Film moves to Alicante, Spain, in a couple weeks.

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