Paul Schrader promises there's a "good chance" he'll direct again after hospital scare

Paul Schrader
Paul Schrader

It appears Paul Schrader is well on the way back to good health, and already has filmmaking back on the brain. During a surprise appearance at the New York Film Festival premiere of his new film Master Gardener, Schrader discusses his recovery following his hospitalization last month for breathing problems. After nearly losing his life, Schrader now hints there’s a “good chance” he’ll return to the director’s chair someday.

“If you had asked me six weeks ago if I could direct again, I would have said I couldn’t direct a game of miniature golf,” the American Gigolo director shares with IndieWire’s Eric Kohn during a live recording of the outlet’s Screen Talk podcast.

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Now, however, Schrader’s outlook on a return to filmmaking is much brighter: in his own words, there’s a strong likelihood he’ll be able to direct again. Although perhaps best-known for penning the screenplay to Scorsese’s 1976 classic Taxi Driver, Master Gardener marks the conclusion of a recent acclaimed Schrader trilogy, rounded out by 2021's The Card Counter and 2017's First Reformed.

“I seem to be on the rebound,” Schrader says. “I do think there is a very good chance I’ll direct again, as long as I can find some fools who will finance me.”

Schrader was hospitalized last month, shortly after attending the September 3 premiere of Master Gardener at the Venice Film Festival. Per IndieWire, Schrader was released from the hospital on September 20.

Alongside the film’s Venice premiere, which stars Joel Edgerton and Sigourney Weaver, Schrader shared a director’s statement expressing gratitude for his health.

“I have been blessed living in a bubble of creative freedom, affluence, leisure time, peace and good health,” Schrader wrote. “My latest film centers on Narvel Roth, a man sitting alone in a room, wearing a mask—which is his occupation, a horticulturist—and waiting for something to happen. And then something happens.”