Paul Schrader’s ‘The Card Counter’ Shutters Five Days From Finish Over A Positive Coronavirus Test

Paul Schrader
Mark Mann

EXCLUSIVE: The coronavirus scare has claimed another indie movie. The Card Counter, the film written and directed by Paul Schrader, has had to postpone its shoot in Biloxi, MS, just five days from being completed. Source said everyone was sent home after an actor who’d flown in from Los Angeles for a few scenes tested positive.

Oscar Isaac Tiffany Haddish Willem Dafoe

Pic stars Oscar Isaac, Willem Dafoe, Tye Sheridan and Tiffany Haddish. Drama 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.

When I first heard of the shutdown, I texted Schrader and said I heard there were six days left. His texted response: “Not six. Five.” He later commented on the shutdown to his Facebook, and didn’t sound happy about not being able to go the distance: “Production halted five days before wrap by my pussified producers because an LA day player had the coronavirus,” Schrader wrote. “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?”

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