When you’re embarking on a major life event, it’s always nice to have a good pal around to gas you up, and Martin Scorsese is doing just that for his old bud and former collaborator Paul Schrader. Per Deadline, Scorsese has come aboard to executive produce The Card Counter, Schrader’s upcoming drama and follow-up to 2018's First Reformed (anointed best film of the decade by Schrader himself). Scorsese, fresh off multiple award nominations for The Irishman and one well-deserved nap during Eminem’s performance at the Oscars, is the latest high-profile name to join the film, which stars Oscar Isaac, Tye Sheridan, Willem Dafoe, and Tiffany Haddish.
The Card Counter follows Tell (Isaac), a skilled card player who’s carved out a humble life for himself on the casino circuit. That existence is threatened by the arrival of Cirk (Sheridan), an angry young man from Tell’s past who’s out to take revenge on a military colonel (Dafoe). With financing from a mysterious backer (Haddish), Tell recruits Cirk to join him on the road to the World Series of poker tournament, and the pair form an alliance made uneasy by Cirk’s volatility.
Schrader and Scorsese previously collaborated on classic, acclaimed dramas like Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, with their last and most recent being 1999's Bringing Out The Dead, starring Nicolas Cage as a New York paramedic haunted by the lives of those he was unable to save. Scorsese is also currently at work on Killers Of The Flower Moon, based on the nonfiction book by David Grann. The film reunites Scorsese with Leonardo DiCaprio for what the filmmaker recently described as his first western.