Focus Features has landed the rights to The Card Counter. This revenge/thriller has a lot going for it as it not only features an A-list cast led by Oscar Isaac (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Inside Llewyn Davis) but it is also the latest from filmmaker Paul Schrader. While no release date has been set, this feels like it will instantly be viewed as a potential awards season contender. The announcement comes as the movie just wrapped up filming in Mississippi.
Paul Schrader is coming off of First Reformed. The critically-acclaimed drama was released in 2017 and went on to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Schrader wrote and directed The Card Counter as his follow-up. Schrader is also known for his collaborations with Martin Scorsese, having penned Taxi Driver and Ragin Bull. Scorsese has partnered with Schrader once again, serving as a producer on the project. Schrader had this to say in a statement.
"The folks at Focus are the best at what they do. Over the years I've been jealous of directors in the Focus fold. Now happily I am one."
The Card Counter centers on Tell (Oscar Isaac), a gambler, whose moves from one casino to the next. However, his lifestyle is shattered when he is approached by a vulnerable and angry young man who is looking for help in getting revenge on a military colonel. For Tell, helping him may be a chance at redemption, but the decision has unforeseen consequences. A poster for the movie has also been revealed. It is quite stylish, done entirely in black and blood red. Focus Features chairman Peter Kujawski had this to say in a statement.
"At a time when many of us are left wondering whether it's our circumstances that corrupt souls or if it's corrupt souls that create the circumstances, no one can say for sure, but has anyone explored this more in film than Paul Schrader? All of us at Focus can't wait to hear and see what Paul has to say now more than ever before, and we're very proud to help him bring this story to the world."
The production only recently wrapped. Initially, they were just days away from finishing when the production was shut down. Fortunately, scenes with large crowds and intimacy had already been completed. Oscar Isaac headed back to Biloxi, Mississippi to wrap things up with Paul Schrader, with procedures in place to keep the cast and crew safe. Schrader confirmed production had wrapped in a post on his personal Facebook page.
Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan and Willem Dafoe also star. Braxton Pope, Lauren Mann and David Wulf are on board as producers, with William Olsson, Lee Broda, Catherine Boily, Joel Michaely, Ruben Islas and Stanley Preschutti serving as executive producers. Focus will be handling distribution in the U.S., with Universal Pictures distributing internationally.
Oscar Isaac is managing to stay quite busy these days. He will next be seen in Denis Villeneuve's Dune, which is currently set to arrive in December. Isaac also signed on to star in James Gray's latest, Armageddon Time, which serves as the filmmaker's follow-up to Ad Astra. Focus Features will be handling distribution for that project as well. More recently, Isaac signed on to star in a remake of Scenes from a Marriage alongside Michelle Williams for HBO. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details are made available. This news comes to us via Variety.