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Cormac McCarthy sold a spec movie script

By 01.18.12

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy has had four of his novels adapted into films (All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, Outer Dark, and The Road), and claims he actually started No Country for Old Men as a screenplay and turned it into a novel when no one wanted it. But no one has ever hired him to write specifically for a film or bought one of his screenplays… (*dramatic music*) …UNTIL NOW. From TOLDJA.com:

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. While McCarthy’s ICM agents Binky Urban and Ron Bernstein were expecting McCarthy to deliver his next novel, he instead surprised them with the spec script before returning to the book.

“The spec falls smack in the middle of what everyone responds to with Cormac’s novels,” [producer Nick] Wechsler said. Steve Schwartz told me: “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.” The script is contemporary, and set in the Southwest.

As much as I want to see the eventual film, I’d love to be a fly on the wall during the notes process even more. “Hey, Cormac? Yeah, hey, it’s Binky again. About your script, everyone LOVES it. I mean they are just going bonkers for it over here, everyone says you’re a genius.  But… well, some of the folks at the studio were just wondering… here on page 34 when you say ‘the kerchiefed joplin split the catamite’s thrapple down to the sidemeat, scuttling the lapstrake quenchbucket,’ we were just thinking that sounded a little… harsh, you know? They were really hoping the hero could have more… I dunno, heart.”


TAGSBINKYCormac McCarthythe counselor

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