Yesterday, we reported on the first teaser trailer for The Counselor, a film written by American novelist Cormac McCarthy (Blood Meridian, No Country for Old Men, The Road) , directed by Ridley Scott (Alien, Blade Runner, Gladiator, and, sigh, Prometheus), and starring Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Dean Norris, Rosie Perez, and John Leguizamo. So, even with some recent missteps on Scott’s part, expectations for this film are enormously high, and the atmospheric and foreboding trailer ratcheted those expectations even higher. And now, just to add to that fire, you can read a sizeable excerpt from McCarthy’s script.
The New Yorker has published a few pages from The Counselor, and, as one would expect from a script from McCarthy, it is a typical example of his brutal restraint, minimalism, violence, tension, and lyrical beauty.
The script tells the story of an attorney played by Fassbender, who joins forces with Bardem to unload a $20 million stash of cocaine. While you can read several pages over at The New Yorker, we will give you just a taste, with a scene featuring a trap being set (via Collider):
NIGHT. TWO-LANE blacktop road through the high desert. A car passes and the lights recede down the long straight and fade out. A man walks out from the scrub cedars that line the road and stands in the middle of the road and lights a cigarette. He is carrying a roll of thin braided wire over one shoulder. He continues across the road to the fence. A tall metal pipe is mounted to one of the fence posts and at the top—some twenty feet off the ground—is a floodlight. The man pushes the button on a small plastic sending unit and the light comes on, flooding the road and the man’s face. He turns it off and walks down the fence line a good hundred yards to the corner of the fence and here he drops the coil of wire to the ground and takes a flashlight from his back pocket and puts it in his teeth and takes a pair of leather gloves from his belt and puts them on. Then he loops the wire around the corner post and pulls the end of the wire through the loop and wraps it about six times around the wire itself and tucks the end several times inside the loop and then takes the wire in both hands and hauls it as tight as he can get it. Then he takes the coil of wire and crosses the road, letting out the wire behind him. In the cedars on the far side, a flatbed truck is parked with the bed of the truck facing the road. There is an iron pipe at the right rear of the truck bed mounted vertically in a pair of collars so that it can slide up and down and the man threads the wire through a hole in the pipe and pulls it taut and stops it from sliding back by clamping the wire with a pair of vise grips. Then he walks back out to the road and takes a tape measure from his belt and measures the height of the wire from the road surface. He goes back to the truck and lowers the iron pipe in its collars and clamps it in place again with a threaded lever that he turns by hand against the vertical rod. He goes out to the road and measures the wire again and comes back and wraps the end of the wire through a heavy three-inch iron ring and walks to the front of the truck, where he pulls the wire taut and wraps it around itself to secure the ring at the end of the wire and then pulls the ring over a hook mounted in the side rail of the truck bed. He stands looking at it. He strums the wire with his fingers. It gives off a deep resonant note. He unhooks the ring and walks the wire to the rear of the truck until it lies slack on the ground and in the road. He lays the ring on the truck bed and goes around and takes a walkie-talkie from a work bag in the cab of the truck and stands in the open door of the truck, listening. He checks his watch by the dome light in the cab.
What did you think of the scene? Will you be seeing The Counselor?