Searchlight Pictures has released the first official look at Nightmare Alley, the next directorial effort from Academy Award winning director Guillermo del Toro and his first movie since the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water. The Mexican-born filmmaker is seemingly aiming for Oscar gold once again though as his new movie boasts an impressive ensemble cast, many of whom have previously heard their names called out on Oscar night. With these first photos though, and his first proper interview on the project, comes the reveal that del Toro's latest is not another trip into the world of horror as fans might expect but his swing at bat with a noir movie.
When asked if he was worried that fans might be expecting horror for his new movie, del Toro told Vanity Fair: ""That is a distinct possibility. It has happened to me in the past with Crimson Peak, where people went in expecting a horror movie. I knew it was a gothic romance but it was very difficult to put that across. But yes, this has no supernatural element. It's based completely in a reality world. There is nothing fantastic. It's a very different movie from my usual, but yes, the title and my name would create that [impression]."
He added, "Curiously enough, in approaching Nightmare Alley, I said I'm not going to do any of the clichés associated with the genre. I'm not going to do an artifact. I'm not going to do the Venetian blinds, and voiceover, and detectives walking with fedoras in wet streets. I wanted to do the universe of the novel, which is a little gritty, but also strangely magical. It has a very strange, mystical allure- and mythical. I was very attracted to that possibility."
Based on the 1946 novel by William Lindsay Gresham, itself previously adapted into a feature film, del Toro's cast for the new film includes Academy Award nominee Bradley Cooper, Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett, Academy Award nominee Toni Collette, Academy Award nominee Willem Dafoe, Academy Award nominee Richard Jenkins, Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara, Academy Award nominee David Strathairn, and frequent del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman.
Searchlight Pictures will release Nightmare Alley on December 17 of this year, just in time for Oscar season. Look for the first trailer this Thursday!