The first trailer for Nightmare Alley, Guillermo del Toro’s first film since 2017, has been released. Nightmare Alley is del Toro’s first film since The Shape of Water won Best Picture at the Academy Awards, which also earned del Toro Best Director.
Nightmare Alley stars Bradley Cooper as Stanton “Stan” Carlisle, a manipulative carny who teams up with the dangerous psychiatrist Dr. Lillith Ritter (Cate Blanchett), making the pair a particularly unholy alliance. In addition to Cooper and Blanchett, Nightmare Alley features a remarkable ensemble cast that includes Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, David Strathairn, Clifton Collins Jr., Tim Blake Nelson, and Mary Steenburgen.
This first teaser keeps circling around the idea of “is he a man or beast,” implying that Cooper’s character might be more than meets the eye. Nightmare Alley has an interesting art deco style that looks similar to The Shape of Water, and throughout the trailer, we get quick glimpses of the circus, the incredible cast, and lots of fire and blood – perfectly apt for a Guillermo del Toro film.
Based on the 1946 novel “Nightmare Alley” from William Lindsay Gresham, the film was previously adapted into a 1947 film, however, del Toro says his take is an adaptation of the book, not the film. Unlike many other del Toro films, Nightmare Alley won’t feature any supernatural elements. del Toro previously talked to Collider about his love for the book and his shift away from the supernatural:
“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 comes to theaters on December 17. Check out the first trailer for Nightmare Alley below.
Time to dive into a world of glamour and terror.
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