New Images from Ridley Scott’s THE COUNSELOR; Read an Excerpt from Cormac McCarthy’s Tense Script

by     Posted 1 year, 92 days ago

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Yesterday, we saw the first trailer for Ridley Scott‘s The Counselor, and now 20th Century Fox has released new images from the film.  The script by Cormac McCarthy (author of The Road and No Country for Old Men) centers on an attorney (Michael Fassbender) who teams with Reiner (Javier Bardem) to sell $20 million worth of cocaine.  I’ve learned to become a little wary of Scott’s films but he keeps luring me back with top-tier talent and intriguing premises.  In addition to its amazing cast, which also includes Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Dean Norris, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, Natalie Dormer, and Goran Visnjic, the film also sports the first screenplay by McCarthy.  An except has been released online and it’s a unique and intense read.  Most screenplays are sparse in scene descriptions and leave the visuals to the director.  McCarthy’s script goes down to almost every single motion the characters make.  It’s worth a read even though it arguably spoils a little bit of the movie.

Hit the jump to check out the images and the excerpt.  The Counselor opens October 25th.

Via EW:

The CounselorMichael Fassbender

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Click over to The New Yorker to read the full excerpt.

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.




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  • mmm

    wow that smoothy looks tasty

  • Patrick Garcia

    Well, in screenwriting classes were taught to keep our descriptions simple and vivid at the same time. This excerpt is beyond long. But I guess once you’ve made it, your free to break all kinds of rules.

    • Strong Enough

      there are no rules to writing. and if they are, its only a matter of time before someone breaks them and changes the rules again. remember that. Woody Allen did it, then Tarentino did it and someone else will.

  • Pingback: ‘The Counselor’: Excerpt From Cormac McCarthy’s Script Is As Terse And Ominous As You’d Expect

  • Kevin

    The excerpt screenplay reads just like one of his novels, so its not too surprising.

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