New Follows Months Of Delays

Better late than never, Guillermo Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley has finally started shooting following a series of setbacks.

It’s the director’s first film since the Oscar-winning The Shape Of Water back in 2017, and it is an adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s novel.

The production has experienced many delays, the more noteworthy occasion being when Leonardo DiCaprio dropped out, meaning filming couldn’t start as planned last September.

Producer J. Miles Dale confirmed the news when he posted a behind-the-scenes photo on Twitter –

Nightmare Alley is described as a full-on noir, and will follow a conman who teams up with a psychiatrist. The duo’s end goal is to trick people into giving them their money.

Speaking about the movie, del Toro was asked if he could tease anything about the project, and he answered enthusiastically –

“Well, what it is is that book was given to me in 1992 by Ron Perlman before I saw the Tyrone Power movie, and I loved the book. My adaptation that I’ve done with [co-writer] Kim Morgan is not necessarily — the entire book is impossible, it’s a saga. But there are elements that are darker in the book, and it’s the first chance I have — in my short films, I wanted to do noir. It was horror and noir. And now is the first chance I have to do a real ‘underbelly of society’ type of movie. [There are] no supernatural elements. Just a straight, really dark story.”

Nightmare Alley begins with an extraordinary description of a freak-show geek—alcoholic and abject and the object of the voyeuristic crowd’s gleeful disgust and derision—going about his work at a county fair. Young Stan Carlisle is working as a carny, and he wonders how a man could fall so low. There’s no way in hell, he vows, that anything like that will ever happen to him.”

“And since Stan is clever and ambitious and not without a useful streak of ruthlessness, soon enough he’s going places. Onstage he plays the mentalist with a cute bimbo (before long his harried wife), then he graduates to full-blown spiritualist, catering to the needs of the rich and gullible in their well-upholstered homes. It looks like the world is Stan’s for the taking. At least for now.”

Del Toro scoffed when asked if the film would be rated R, saying –

“Yes, big R. Like, double R!”

The film has a strong cast including Bradley Cooper in the lead, alongside Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, David Strathairn, Willem Dafoe, and Holt McCallany. Initially, DiCaprio was in talks to lead the film, but he ended up dropping out.

No release date has currently been set for the movie.