The latest clip from Ridley Scott’s The Counselor is on its own pretty confusing. What crime are Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender discussing? What is Pitt advising when he suggests, “don’t do it”? Why is he talking about Mickey Rourke? Well, the caption Yahoo includes below the clip answers the last question, explaining: “Westray (Brad Pitt) gives The Counselor (Michael Fassbender) some advice straight out of Body Heat."
That brings us to this scene from the 1981 crime thriller about a man (William Hurt) who falls so hard for a seductive married woman (Kathleen Turner) that he plots with her to murder her husband. Here, a shady associate played by Rourke warns the movie’s anti-hero he is in over his head:
Well, if you’re going to incite a comparison to another crime thriller in your movie marketing, may as well make it one that was a critically heralded box office hit. Aside from borrowing a few lines of dialogue, The Counselor is an original screenplay from lauded author Cormac McCarthy, who has seen his books All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, The Road and Child of God earn movie adaptations. Directed by Ridley Scott, The Counselor has Fassbender in the role of the titular lawyer, who as you may have guessed is dabbling in crime, specifically drug trafficking.
Hot off his blockbuster zombie epic World War Z, Pitt plays a middle man in the drug trade who apparently thinks this counselor is out of his depth when it comes to an upcoming drug deal. Also on board for this star-stuffed drama are Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Rosie Perez, John Leguizamo, and Game of Thrones’s Natalie Dormer. In another curious clip, Fassbender’s criminal counselor asks dealer Reiner (Bardem in one of the craziest costumes we’ve seen him in yet) for advice, but to little avail. In a third, Cruz as Fassbender’s ladylove Laura and Diaz as Bardem’s dangerous partner Malkina chat poolside, but theirs isn’t chipper girls talk.
It’s mind-boggling how generous Scott has been with clips, and yet how little these clips and trailers actually reveal. As much as these pieces show, the puzzle will only be solved by actually seeing The Counselor when it opens in theaters on October 25th. All in all, it’s a clever strategy from Scott and company.