The race to cast Ridley Scott’s The Counselor before the director forgets he optioned it continues, with the mostly reliable Twitch reporting that early talks have begun with Natalie Portman, Jeremy Renner, and Javier Bardem about joining Michael Fassbender in the Cormac McCarthy-scripted film. Portman is said to be in negotiations for the part of Laura, whose recent engagement to Fassbender’s attorney character serves as his impetus for getting into the drug game, because weddings, right? Meanwhile, Bardem is said to be Scott’s preferred choice for the role of Reiner, a trafficker who serves as Fassbender’s gateway into the criminal underworld—a part that most recently was said to be in contention for names like Bradley Cooper and Brad Pitt.
If Twitch is to be believed (and as we said, most often they are), Pitt is officially out of the running, but Bardem’s chief competition is the also previously rumored Jeremy Renner—with the edge likely going to Bardem because he’s already made a gritty, Southwestern-set Cormac McCarthy movie, and that worked out pretty well for everyone involved. Of course, The Playlist hypothesizes that these reports are confused and that Bardem may actually be circling another, albeit similar sort-of-villain role. Or hey, maybe it’s Natalie Portman who’s going to play the heavy, and Michael Fassbender gets married to Javier Bardem? Casting rumors are fun.