Paul Schrader blasts producers for shutting down movie due to coronavirus

Paul Schrader has blasted producers for shutting down filming on The Card Counter after an actor was diagnosed with coronavirus.The director, who wrote Martin Scorsese’s films Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, took to Facebook to complain about the situatio…

Paul Schrader has blasted producers for shutting down filming on The Card Counter after an actor was diagnosed with coronavirus.

The director, who wrote Martin Scorsese’s films Taxi Driver and Raging Bull, took to Facebook to complain about the situation, and revealed that production had been stopped five days before it was due to finish “because an LA day player had the coronavirus”.

“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?” he wrote in a brief post on the social media site.

And when asked by one follower about the safety of the cast and crew on the set of the film in Biloxi, Mississippi, Schrader simply replied: “It’s a good death.”

The crime drama is being produced by LB Entertainment, in association with HanWay Films, and distributed by Front Row Filmed Entertainment.

In addition to directing, the 73-year-old wrote the script for The Card Counter, which stars Oscar Isaac as a professional gambler called William Tell, who takes a young man, played by Tye Sheridan, under his wing to help him get revenge against a mutual enemy on the casino circuit.

Willem Dafoe and Tiffany Haddish are also starring in the movie, and it’s understood that the actor who tested positive is not one of the main cast members.

Schrader’s film is not the only Hollywood production to be affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Production on Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley movie was halted after its star Tom Hanks, as well as his wife Rita Wilson, contracted the virus, while filming on Marvel movie, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, was postponed as director Destin Daniel Cretton tested for it, although his results came back negative.

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Martin Scorsese in no rush to see Joker

Martin Scorsese is in no rush to watch Joker.Last year’s comic book thriller, directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips and based on the origin story of the iconic DC Comics villain, followed Joaquin Phoenix’s failed comedian Arthur Fleck as he descende…

Martin Scorsese is in no rush to watch Joker.

Last year’s comic book thriller, directed by The Hangover’s Todd Phillips and based on the origin story of the iconic DC Comics villain, followed Joaquin Phoenix’s failed comedian Arthur Fleck as he descended into madness and chaos and eventually became Batman’s criminal nemesis.

Phillips revealed in several interviews that Joker was heavily inspired by the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s movies Taxi Driver from 1976 and The King of Comedy from 1982.

However, when asked if he’d seen the critically-acclaimed movie, Scorsese said he was in no hurry to check it out.

“I saw clips of it. I know it. So it’s like, why do I need to? I get it. It’s fine,” the 77-year-old told The New York Times.

He also acknowledged that Joker contained many homages to his own work, and revealed he had passed on an offer from Phillips to become involved, though his longtime collaborator Emma Tillinger Koskoff served as producer on the movie instead.

Scorsese previously discussed turning down the opportunity to direct Joker in an interview with the BBC last year, and said it was due to “personal reasons” that he decided to step away from the comic book project.

“I thought about it a lot over the last four years and decided I did not have the time for it,” he explained. “It was personal reasons why I didn’t get involved, but I know the script very well. It has a real energy and (in) Joaquin, you have remarkable work.”

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Todd Phillips: ‘I understand Martin Scorsese’s comic book movie criticism’

Todd Phillips understands Martin Scorsese’s disparaging comments about comic book blockbusters.Last month, The Irishman director was criticised for describing Marvel and DC Comics’ big-screen superhero movies as “not cinema” and likening them to theme …

Todd Phillips understands Martin Scorsese’s disparaging comments about comic book blockbusters.

Last month, The Irishman director was criticised for describing Marvel and DC Comics’ big-screen superhero movies as “not cinema” and likening them to theme parks.

Marvel stars such as Robert Downey Jr., Samuel L. Jackson, and Karen Gillan defended the genre in light of the Oscar-winning filmmaker’s comments, but Joker director Phillips has now said that he believes Scorsese was making a fair point.

“Marty got a lot of heat for that (what he said), but I understand it fully. We were struggling to get Joker made, which sounds funny because it exists in the superhero world, but it’s really not one of those movies,” he commented during The Hollywood Reporter’s roundtable chat with Scorsese, Greta Gerwig, Noah Baumbach, Fernando Meirelles, and Lulu Wang.

“We spent a year at Warner Bros., and I saw emails back and forth, literally, where they said, ‘Does he realise we sell Joker pyjamas at Target?’ I go, ‘Didn’t movies come first and pyjamas come second? Are the pyjamas dictating the movies?’

“Theme park rides. Pyjamas. Slurpee cups. Whatever it is that you are selling off the back of movies, you can’t make your decisions based on that.”

Elsewhere in the discussion, the Taxi Driver filmmaker insisted he had no problem with the movies and was simply comparing them to the scale of a theme park.

“People go to the movie. Enjoy it. That sort of thing. It’s not bad,” Scorsese stated. “We used to love to go to amusement parks. But now in an amusement park, you have the film.”

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Robert De Niro to be honoured with 2019 SAG life achievement award

Robert De Niro is to be honoured with the Life Achievement Award at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.Since launching his career in the early 1960s, the Hollywood actor has appeared in a string of successful films, winning Academy Awards for hi…

Robert De Niro is to be honoured with the Life Achievement Award at the 2019 Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards.

Since launching his career in the early 1960s, the Hollywood actor has appeared in a string of successful films, winning Academy Awards for his performances in The Godfather II and Raging Bull, as well as Oscar nominations for his work in The Deer Hunter, Taxi Driver, Awakenings, Cape Fear, and Silver Linings Playbook.

Now, De Niro has been named as the 56th recipient of the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)’s highest tribute.

“Robert De Niro is an actor of extraordinary depth and ability. The characters he creates captivate our imaginations. From the smouldering inferno of young Vito Corleone to the raging bull Jake LaMotta and everybody’s grandpa Ben Whittaker, he continues to touch our hearts and open our minds to new and exciting worlds of understanding and emotion,” said Gabrielle Carteris, president of SAG-AFTRA. “It is my great privilege to announce that SAG-AFTRA’s highest honour will be presented to one of the most singular talents of our generation, Robert De Niro.”

In response, The Irishman star commented: “I have been a member of this union for over 50 years. It’s an honour to receive this award from SAG-AFTRA.”

The 76-year-old previously received a SAG Award for his work as a member of the cast of American Hustle and nominations for Marvin’s Room, Silver Linings Playbook, and The Wizard of Lies.

Previous winners of the life achievement award include Alan Alda, Morgan Freeman, Lily Tomlin, Carol Burnett, Debbie Reynolds, Rita Moreno, Dick Van Dyke, Betty White, and Julie Andrews.

The 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards will take place on 19 January 2020.

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Todd Phillips confirms Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker movie will be R-rated

Todd Phillips has confirmed Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker will be the first R-rated live-action Batman movie.The Hangover filmmaker has focused on the iconic DC Comics villain for the highly-anticipated origin story project, and the dark tale, set in the ’70…

Todd Phillips has confirmed Joaquin Phoenix’s Joker will be the first R-rated live-action Batman movie.

The Hangover filmmaker has focused on the iconic DC Comics villain for the highly-anticipated origin story project, and the dark tale, set in the ’70s, is reportedly influenced by Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver.

Phillips shared an image of Phoenix applying white face paint in a mirror on Instagram on Monday, with the caption, “Finishing touches.”

Fans went wild for the sneak peek of the movie, set to be released in October, with one asking what the rating would be.

“It will be rated R,” Phillips replied. “I’ve been asked this a lot. Just assumed people knew. Sorry.”

R stands for Restricted and is The Motion Picture Association of America’s second-highest rating for movies, meaning viewers who are aged under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian to watch it. It’s not yet known what it will be rated in the U.K.

This isn’t the first R-rated take on a comic book story, as Hugh Jackman fronted 2017’s dramatic and violent Wolverine sequel Logan, with the flick going on to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Warner Bros. executives previously described Joker as an “exploration of a man disregarded by society (that) is not only a gritty character study, but also a broader cautionary tale.”

Robert De Niro and Deadpool 2 actress Zazie Beetz will co-star alongside Phoenix. Phillips co-wrote the script with Scott Silver.

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