Nightmare Alley, the next feature film from Hellboy and The Shape of Water director Guillermo del Toro, will be rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America. The reasons? Well, basically what you might imagine from a movie called "Nightmare Alley": "Strong/bloody violence, some sexual content, nudity and language." The movie, which was directed by del Toro from a screenplay by del Toro and Kim Morgan, is based on the novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, which was adapted as a film noir starring Tyrone Power in 1947, a stage musical in 2010, and a graphic novel in 2012.
In spite of the cultural cache of the Power adaptation, del Toro previously said that he didn't plan on using the movie for inspiration, but instead trying to adapt more directly from the book.
"That book was given to me in 1992 by Ron Perlman before I saw the Tyrone Power movie, and I loved the book," del Toro told Collider. "My adaptation that I've done with 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."
The film features an ensemble cast that includes 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.
Back in November, IndieWire shared a bare-bones synopsis, which read, "Stan Carlisle, an ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words, hooks up with Dr. Lilith Ritter, a psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is.'
Nightmare Alley, which has been in development since 2017 at Fox Searchlight, is scheduled finally to be released on December 3, 2021.