EXCLUSIVE: Michael Fassbender has committed to star in The Counselor, the Cormac McCarthy-scripted thriller that Ridley Scott is making his next film. Deadline told you February 9 that Scott went right to Fassbender, who stars in Prometheus for Scott and 20th Century Fox. Scott has landed one of the hottest actors in Hollywood, is eyeing a May 1 start date, and talking to a number of high-profile actors to take part in a film that insiders are describing as “No Country For Old Men on steroids.” The Counselor is reminiscent of the rough-and-tumble world depicted in the Oscar-winning adaptation of McCarthy’s novel No Country For Old Men. The protagonist 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.

Now, Scott has to get his bad guy. Last time there was a villain like this conjured up by McCarthy, Javier Bardem played him and won an Oscar in No Country For Old Men. I’m hearing names like Jeremy Renner, Bradley Cooper and even some unexpected candidates like Brad Pitt, whose career launched in Scott’s Thelma & Louise.

The material is controlled by producers Nick Wechsler and Steve and Paula Mae Schwartz, who were invited by McCarthy’s ICM agents to get a peek (they produced the adaptation of his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel The Road). The producers bought it and Scott Free came aboard as producers with them when Scott committed. The film isn’t set at a studio and it is unclear when it will be.

Fassbender, who’s coming off Shame, Haywire, A Dangerous Method, Jane Eyre and X-Men: First Class, is repped by CAA. He’s due to reteam with Shame helmer Steve McQueen in Twelve Years A Slave.