Cormac McCarthy’s First Screenplay Gets Sold

Cormac McCarthy is a Pulitzer prize-winning author whose work has earned him a place as one of the most well-respected American writers in the world today. And while the quality of his writing has spilled over into Hollywood, where two of his novels (‘The Road’ and ‘No Country For Old Men’) have been adapted into critically acclaimed films, McCarthy himself has never tried his hand at writing a movie. Deadline reports that McCarthy’s first ever spec-script, The Counselor, is about to change that. The new screenplay is not only his first screenwriting endeavor, it’s also his first original story to go to the silver-screen. The script has been picked up by the same team of producers who backed The Road.

Deadline’s description of The Counselor:

“The terrain of the script is reminiscent of the rough and tumble world depicted in No Country For Old Men. The protagonist in The Counselor 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.”

One of the producers on the project, Steve Schwartz, had this to say:

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.

If you’ve seen No Country or The Road you have a good idea of what Schwartz is talking about, as they captured much of McCarthy’s language and tone, but if you’ve actually read his stuff before you’ve felt his mastery of language first-hand. The Road affected me more viscerally than anything else I’ve read, so I’m excited to see how he fares at screenwriting.

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