The Card Counter

Paul Schrader is teaming up with Oscar Isaac for his next movie, The Card Counter. The story follows a gambler trying to reform a young man who is on a path to revenge. And since this is a Paul Schrader film there will probably be a lot of moments where the characters are dealing with inner turmoil and self-destruction. HanWay Films has acquired international sales rights to the project.

Variety has the scoop on Oscar Isaac joining the cast of Paul Schrader’s The Card Counter. The film, which Schrader will write and direct, “follows William Tell (Isaac), 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, a vulnerable and angry young man seeking help to execute his plan for revenge on a military colonel. Tell sees a chance at redemption through his relationship with Cirk. Gaining backing from mysterious gambling financier La Linda, 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.”

That might not sound like the most thrilling of stories, but Schrader will no doubt find a way to make it exciting. It doesn’t hurt to add Isaac into the mix, either. He’s a great actor in need of more roles like this to help remind everyone of his talents.

“Schrader is a master of economical and cinematic story-telling,” said Gabrielle Stewart, HanWay Films managing director. “This is essentially an unlikely and surprising three-hander that weaves together the entertaining world of gambling; a potent and personal revenge thriller; unafraid to ask some extremely current and uncomfortable questions. Isaac’s Tell is set to be a modern, iconic anti-hero, unmistakably drawn by this genius screenwriter.”

Schrader was previously announced as planning a “neo-Western” called Nine Men From Now, and it’s not clear if he’s still making that or if the project is dead. In any case, The Card Counter is said to begin principal photography early next year, which indicates that we’ll see that before we see Nine Men From Now.

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