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Oscar Isaac to Star in Paul Schrader’s Revenge Thriller ‘The Card Counter’

Movie will begin principal photography early 2020 and will be presented to buyers at the American Film Market

Oscar Isaac is set to star in a revenge thriller titled “The Card Counter,” the next film from Oscar-winner Paul Schrader that will be presented to buyers at the upcoming American Film Market.

Schrader wrote the original screenplay and will direct the film. Isaac will star as William Tell, a gambler and former serviceman who sets out to reform a young man seeking revenge on a mutual enemy from their past. Here’s the full synopsis of the film:

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.

Braxton Pope, who previously worked with Schrader on “The Canyons,” is producing the film with Lauren Mann. William Olsson and David Wulf will executive produce. “The Card Counter” also reunites Schrader with his cinematographer Alexander Dynan and editor Benjamin Rodriguez Jr., both of who worked with him on “First Reformed.”

HanWay Films has acquired international sales rights and is presenting it to buyers at AFM. Principal photography is scheduled to begin early next year.

“Schrader is a master of economical and cinematic story-telling. 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,” HanWay Films’ MD Gabrielle Stewart said in a statement.

Schrader’s recent film, “First Reformed,” starred Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried, and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Hawke also won Best Actor at the Gotham Awards.

Isaac was last seen in “Triple Frontier” and will next star in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” He’s also working on Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune.”

Schrader is represented by David Gonzales of Northside Services and Isaac by WME, Inspire Entertainment and SGSBC.

News of the project was first reported by Variety.