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‘Nightmare Alley’: 9 Things to Know About Guillermo del Toro’s Big Return to Theaters

Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and many more foray into the Guillermo del Toro cinematic universe with his noir-tinged thriller.

CRIMSON PEAK, director Guillermo del Toro, on set, 2015. ph: Kerry Hayes/©Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Guillermo del Toro

©Universal/Courtesy Everett Collection

Guillermo del Toro’s boundless imagination hasn’t graced the big screen since 2017 with “The Shape of Water.” The Mexican filmmaker’s odd love story about a mute woman’s relationship with a water-dwelling creature won the Mexican filmmaker Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director, but the world was already acquainted with him as a director capable of mainstream success with movies like “Hellboy” and “Pacific Rim.”

Now, he’s coming back to cinemas with the pulpy noir thriller “Nightmare Alley,” led by a gargantuan cast that includes Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Ron Perlman, Rooney Mara, Willem Dafoe, Paul Anderson, Holt McCallany, Toni Collette, Richard Jenkins, David Strathairn, Mary Steenburgen, and Tim Blake Nelson.

The movie wrapped in December of 2020, and now, a year later, it’s headed for release on December 3 from Searchlight Pictures. Del Toro spoke about the film’s production during an IndieWire Live conversation over the summer. “We stopped the shoot a week before [the industry shut down]. We reacted super fast, we proposed the studio to stop as opposed to being asked to stop,” del Toro said. “That saved us. Nobody to my knowledge in the cast or the crew got coronavirus. We were roughly 45 percent in. We were literally in the middle of a great scene. We went to lunch and talked to the studio and when we came back we said, ‘Everybody leave your tools and leave now.’”

Here are nine things to know about del Toro’s latest thriller before it opens later this year.

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