Paul Schrader is back with a vengeance in the official trailer for “The Card Counter,” his feature directorial follow-up to “First Reformed.” Schrader’s latest finds Oscar Isaac sinking his teeth into the kind of tormented male protagonist role that Schrader has perfected in the likes of “Raging Bull,” “Taxi Driver,” and more. Anticipation for “The Card Counter” is high not only because of the cast (Isaac stars alongside Tiffany Haddish and Willem Dafoe, a Schrader regular with “Last Temptation of Christ” and “Dog Eat Dog) but also because Schrader is coming off his first screenwriting Oscar nomination for “First Reformed.”
The official synopsis for “The Card Counter” from Focus Features reads: “Redemption is the long game in Paul Schrader’s ‘The Card Counter.’ Told with Schrader’s trademark cinematic intensity, the revenge thriller tells the story of an ex-military interrogator turned gambler haunted by the ghosts of his past decisions, and features riveting performances from stars Oscar Isaac, Tiffany Haddish, Tye Sheridan and Willem Dafoe.
“The Card Counter” will world premiere this September at the 2021 Venice Film Festival. The movie is a selection of the festival’s competition section, meaning it will compete for prizes such as top honor the Golden Lion. “The Card Counter” is going up against the likes of Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter,” Pablo Larrain’s “Spencer,” Pedro Almodovar’s “Parallel Mothers,” and more in Venice’s competition section.
Martin Scorsese serves as an executive producer on “The Card Counter” and helped shaped the movie in post-production. Schrader screened an early cut of the movie virtually during the pandemic last year to a group that included Scorsese. As the director revealed, “I asked them all, ‘I have four more scenes to shoot. I can rewrite them. What am I missing? What do I need to add? How should I write these four scenes?’ I was able to rewrite these scenes and make these relationships much better. And not all productions get to do that.
Focus Features will release “The Card Counter” in theaters September 10. Watch the official trailer for the revenge drama in the video below.