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 publisher Knopf. McCarthy passed away at his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The news was first reported by 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 American authors of the 20th century for novels such as “Blood Meridian” and “The Road.”
In 2005 he published “No Country for Old Men,” which Joel and Ethan Coen adapted into a 2007 film that elevated their status as dramatic filmmakers and cemented McCarthy’s Hollywood legacy. Cinematographer Roger Deakins recently reflected on the making of the film, recalling that “Joel said we’re doing this script, ’No Country for Old Men.’ I had just read the book, so I said ‘Aren’t you gonna direct?’ And he said, ‘Well, we might.’ I said ‘I’ll never talk to you again if you don’t 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.
While best known for his novels, McCarthy also dabbled in screenwriting when he penned the script for Ridley Scott’s 2013 drug thriller “The Counselor.” The film, which starred Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Cameron Diaz, and Brad Pitt, polarized audiences upon its initial release but has since picked up a passionate cult following.
McCarthy remained active up until his death, publishing two novels — “The Passenger” and “Stella Maris” — in 2022. His works continue to inspire filmmakers — New Regency announced a film adaptation of his novel “Blood Meridian” from 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 underground of race-driven crimes. Hillcoat previously helmed the adaptation of McCarthy’s “The Road.”