The film, written and directed by Schrader, 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.
HanWay Films has acquired international sales rights and will commence sales at the upcoming American Film Market.
Braxton Pope, who previously worked with Schrader on “The Canyons,” is producing the film together with Lauren Mann. William Olsson and David Wulf will executive produce.
“The Card Counter” also reunites the filmmaker with cinematographer Alexander Dynan and editor Benjamin Rodriguez Jr., who all worked together on “First Reformed.” Principal photography is scheduled to begin early next year.
“Schrader is a master of economical and cinematic story-telling,” said HanWay Films managing director Gabrielle Stewart. “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.”
Isaac recently starred in Netflix’s thriller “Triple Frontier” and is set to reprise is role as Poe Dameron in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” this December. He also wrapped production on Legendary’s “Dune” and voiced Gomez Addams in MGM’s “The Addams Family.”
Schrader is represented by David Gonzales of Northside Services and Isaac by WME, Inspire Entertainment and SGSBC.