With Guillermo del Toro’s next film as director/writer, “Nightmare Alley,” now taking shape with cast members Cate Blanchett and Bradley Cooper tapped to star, the Academy Award-winning Mexican director is beginning to spill details about the upcoming film.
Del Toro, who just received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, said in an interview with Collider that his forthcoming adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 true-crime pulp novel will have “no supernatural elements” and that “Nightmare Alley” is “just a really straight, really dark story.” He added that the book has afforded him “the first chance I have to do a real underbelly-of-society type of movie.”
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When asked what kind of rating he expects the film to have, del Toro said, it “will be a big R. Double R!” The seedy story drops us into the demimonde of 1940s American show business, and introduces us to the sleazy denizens of a carnival filled with grifters, charlatans, and noir-like femme fatales. Bradley Cooper is set to play a corrupt con man opposite Cate Blanchett’s equally nefarious female psychiatrist. Together they team up to swindle innocents, only to end up manipulating each other.
Del Toro is writing the screenplay with Kim Morgan (former muse, and now ex-wife, of avant-garde filmmaker Guy Maddin), with whom del Toro attended the 2018 Academy Awards ceremony, where he was crowned Best Director and winner of Best Picture for the hard-R-rated “The Shape of Water.”
Snce cleaning up at the Oscars, he has completed production on Scott Cooper’s “Antlers,” and also co-wrote and produced “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” the Alvin Schwarz adaptation hitting theaters August 9. “Nightmare Alley” is meant to start shooting in January, with “Shape of Water” distributor Fox Searchlight also releasing this film.
The filmmaker has remained just as busy when not behind the camera. After an introduction by singer Lana del Rey, the Mexican filmmaker used his Hollywood star ceremony on Wednesday to make a political statement. “Right now, we are in a moment of great fear,” he said “Great fear and great division because that’s why fear is used. It’s used to divide us. It’s used to tell us that we’re different, that we shouldn’t trust each other.”