I know a bit too much about Paul Schrader‘s new film The Card Counter, and I’m confident it’s going to be one of the better indie films that comes out… whenever that may be.
Variety reports that Focus Features just acquired the revenge movie, and if I was consulting for that studio, I’d advise them to release the film this year, when it could have a higher profile that it normally might. And with prestige titles being delayed left and right, it may even prove to be an awards contender. You never can… tell.
The Card Counter stars Oscar Isaac as Tell, a former serviceman who now lives as a gambler does, traveling from one casino to the next. When a vulnerable and angry young man named Cirk (Tye Sheridan) asks for his help in exacting revenge on a military colonel (Willem Dafoe), Tell sees a chance at redemption. His decision has unforeseen consequences, however, as keeping Cirk on the straight-and-narrow proves impossible and drags Tell back into the darkness of his past.
Tiffany Haddish co-stars in the movie, which was forced to suspend production in March with just five days remaining on the schedule after a cast member tested positive for COVID-19. SAG and local authorities recently agreed to allow the project to resume filming, and after implementing a series of preventative safety measures on set, Schrader wrapped production Sunday night in Biloxi, Mississippi, according to his Facebook page. Deadline reports. that the director had already wrapped the film’s larger crowd scenes as well as its intimate scenes.
The Card Counter was produced by Braxton Pope, Lauren Mann and David Wulf, while its executive producers include William Olsson, Lee Broda, Ruben Islas, Stanley Preschutti and Martin Scorsese, who directed four of Schrader’s scripts — Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ and Bringing Out the Dead.
“The folks at Focus are the best at what they do,” Schrader said in a statement. “Over the years I’ve been jealous of directors in the Focus fold. Now happily I am one.”
Focus is on a bit of a spending spree of late, having also acquired James Gray‘s Armageddon Time and Justin Chon‘s Blue Bayou out of the virtual Cannes market. Coincidentally, Isaac will also star in Armageddon Time, and for more on who his Oscar-winning co-stars will be, click here.