Cormac McCarthy, the literary giant whose violently nihilistic visions of America influenced a generation of writers and filmmakers, has died at the age of 89. His death was confirmed by the publisher Knopf. McCarthy died at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The news was the first reported from Publishers Weekly.
Born in Providence, Rhode Island in 1933, McCarthy published his first novel, ‘The Orchard Keeper,’ in 1965. He slowly rose to prominence in the literary world and eventually became known as one of the most important 20th century American authors of novels such as “Blood Meridian” and “The Road”.
In 2005, he released “No Country for Old Men,” which Joel and Ethan Coen adapted into a 2007 film that elevated their status as drama directors and cemented McCarthy’s Hollywood legacy. Cinematographer Roger Deakins recently reflected on the making of the film, recalling “Joel said as we’re writing this script, ‘No country for old men.’ I had just read the book, so I said ‘Aren’t you going to direct?’ And he said, “Well, we could.” I said ‘I’ll never talk to you again unless you direct it.'”
The neo-western thriller starring Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones won Best Picture at the Academy Awards as well as Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor for Bardem.
Well known for his novels, McCarthy also dabbled in screenwriting when he penned the screenplay for Ridley Scott’s 2013 drug thriller “The Counselor.” The film, starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt, has polarized audiences since its initial release but has since garnered a passionate cult following.
McCarthy remained active until his death, publishing two novels – ‘The Passenger’ and ‘Stella Maris’ – in 2022. His works continue to inspire filmmakers – New Regency has announced a film adaptation of his 2020 novel ‘Blood Meridian’ director John Hillcoat in April. Like many of McCarthy’s iconic works, “Blood Meridian” is set on the Texas-Mexico border and touches on themes of manifest destiny and the dark underbelly of race-driven crime. Hillcoat previously directed the adaptation of McCarthy’s “The Road.”