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Paul Schrader Calls Out Producers for Shutting Down His Film After Actor Gets Coronavirus

"What better way to die than on the job?" Schrader wrote on Facebook in reaction to production on "The Card Counter" shutting down.

Paul SchraderThe Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon, Los Angeles, USA - 04 Feb 2019

Paul Schrader

Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

Paul Schrader has taken to social media to slam the producers of his new film for shutting down production after an actor on set tested positive for coronavirus. Deadline was the first to report the news. Schrader had been filming his new film, “The Card Counter,” in Biloxi, Mississippi with cast members Oscar Isaac, Willem Dafoe, and Tiffany Haddish. The movie was five days from finishing principal photography when a member of the cast tested positive for the virus. The actor infected with coronavirus had flown into Biloxi from Los Angeles to shoot just a few scenes in the movie.

“Production halted five days before wrap by my pussified producers because an LA day player had the coronavirus,” Schrader wrote on Facebook. “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?”

The Card Cutter” stars Oscar Isaac as a gambler and former soldier who sets out to help a young man seek revenge on a mutual enemy from their past. The project is Schrader’s first directorial effort since “First Reformed,” which landed him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay. Schrader took to Facebook over the weekend to share a picture of himself with Isaac and Dafoe on the film’s set, which many found to be a defiant act as the majority of film productions shut down amid the coronavirus outbreak. Now Schrader’s “Card Counter” production will go on an indefinite hiatus until it’s safe to finish the last five days of filming.

Schrader confirmed in January that Haddish and Tye Sheridan were joining the cast right before production. “I love Tiffany,” the writer-director said of the casting. “I’ve never met her, but I was on the phone with her for an hour. She’s a firecracker. It’s like talking to a live-wire connection. She’s very funny and, of course, she makes you funny. When someone’s sharp, that makes you get sharp because you want to keep up. So that’s all good.”

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