With only five days left on its shoot, The Card Counter was forced to shut down production due to the global pandemic. The gambling thriller is set to be writer/director Paul Schrader‘s follow-up to the critically acclaimed First Reformed, and according to Deadline, the film will finally get a chance to wrap in July after being cleared local authorities in Mississippi and the Screen Actors Guild.
HanWay Films has also provided a first look at Oscar Isaac as lead character William Tell, a gambler and combat veteran who’s out for revenge.
Given Schrader’s penchant for controversial remarks, The Card Counter made headlines back in March when its production was abruptly shut down not just out of caution, but because an actor who flew in for a scene tested positive for COVID-19. Considering the film was so close to wrap, it’s understandable that Schrader would be frustrated, but he went on a Facebook rant that took things a little too far.
“Production halted five days before wrap by my pussified producers because an LA day player had the coronavirus,” Schrader posted. “Myself, I would have shot through hellfire rain to complete the film. I’m old and asthmatic, what better way to die than on the job?”
Here’s the official synopsis:
Issac plays William Tell, a gambler and former serviceman who sets out to reform a young man seeking revenge on a mutual enemy from their past.
Tell just wants to play cards. His spartan existence on the casino trail is shattered when he is approached by Cirk (Tye Sheridan), a vulnerable young man seeking help to execute his plan for revenge on a military colonel. Tell sees a chance for redemption through his relationship with Cirk. Gaining backing from mysterious gambling financier La Linda (Tiffany Haddish), Tell takes Cirk with him on the road, going from casino to casino until the unlikely trio set their sights on winning the World Series of poker in Las Vegas. But keeping Cirk on the straight-and-narrow proves impossible, dragging Tell back into the darkness of his past.
The Card Counter has no official release date at the time of publishing.