Cormac McCarthy is helping delay the production of the new Blade Runner film. The author recently sold a spec screenplay called The Counselor, about a respected lawyer who tries to get into the drug trade without being completely pulled in, but quickly finds that he’s out of his depth.

The script sale led to the quick attachment of director Ridley Scott. (Who was trying to develop an adaptation of McCarthy’s novel Blood Meridian a couple years back.) Now it looks like The Counselor will be Scott’s next film, and Michael Fassbender could be in the title role.

Deadline reports that “The Counselor might well be traveling on the fastest track toward production of any film in recent memory.”

Ridley Scott often likes to do a lot of rewrite work on scripts before committing to production, but how much work is anyone going to do to a Cormac McCarthy script? It’s not that he’s perfect, but who’s going to rewrite McCarthy? Either you shoot what the guy put on the page, or not.

A May 1 start date could happen, and Deadline says “a group of top actors” has read the script and want to be part of it. While an offer hasn’t been made to Fassbender, his schedule is relatively open for the year, and I can’t see any objections to him being in the lead.

It’s worth revisiting what producer Steve Schwartz said about the script when the sale was announced:

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.

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