While “House of Gucci,” “Licorice Pizza,” and “Don’t Look Up” are dominating movie headlines right now, don’t forget that a new Guillermo del Toro movie is on the way this December. Searchlight Pictures has debuted the official trailer for “Nightmare Alley,” del Toro’s highly-anticipated follow-up to “The Shape of Water.” That film grossed nearly $200 million worldwide and won the filmmaker his first Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. Now del Toro is back with Searchlight for this adaptation of the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham.
The official “Nightmare Alley” synopsis from Searchlight Pictures reads: “When charismatic but down-on-his-luck Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) endears himself to clairvoyant Zeena (Toni Collette) and her has-been mentalist husband Pete (David Strathairn) at a traveling carnival, he crafts a golden ticket to success, using this newly acquired knowledge to grift the wealthy elite of 1940s New York society. With the virtuous Molly (Rooney Mara) loyally by his side, Stanton plots to con a dangerous tycoon (Richard Jenkins) with the aid of a mysterious psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who might be his most formidable opponent yet.”
Here’s the “Nightmare Alley” cast del Toro has assembled: Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Rooney Mara, Holt McCallany, Clifton Collins Jr., Tim Blake Nelson, Mary Steenburgen, and David Strathairn.
“Nightmare Alley” started shooting out of order, and from the start, rewriting was going on all the time. The production also got delayed by the pandemic and went on a six-month hiatus.
“We shot the second half before the first half,” Cooper revealed earlier this year at the Tribeca Film Festival. “We didn’t want to do it that way. Things happened to us, with sets and other actors’ availability and water, the snow and all that. I was the cause. I had moved to New York and said, ‘I can’t do it right now. Let me get settled.’”
“It was a blessing,” added del Toro at the time. “I believe wholeheartedly life gives you what you need, not what you want. You have a window to look at everything. It was incredible. We got to see these characters, when [Cooper’s Stanton Carlisle] was full of himself and arrogant and certain and seeking. We were able to go back six months in between all this and were able to analyze and see not only that character but what we needed to rewrite to be able to go back to a set. If your pores are open, the movie finds you. Each movie tells you what it needs.
“Nightmare Alley” is set to open in theaters December 17 from Searchlight Pictures. Watch the official trailer below.