Searchlight’s just released the first gorgeous teaser trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s new film, Nightmare Alley. With his latest project, del Toro is warning fans they shouldn’t go into this thriller based on the William Lindsay Gresham novel expecting supernatural creatures. This film is about a beast of a different sort, a noir thriller set in the world of carnivals and grifters.
“[…] 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],” explained the Oscar-winning filmmaker in an interview with Vanity Fair.
Searchlight offered this very basic description of the plot: “In Nightmare Alley, an ambitious carny (Bradley Cooper) with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who is even more dangerous than he is.”
CrimeReads offered a meatier summary of the source material in a 2018 review. “Gresham’s book is a masterful story about the art of the grift and the best fictional depiction of the carny (slang for the traveling carnival employee). But most of all, it is a stone cold classic piece of low life noir fiction, dark, visceral, surprisingly sex-drenched for its time, and utterly devoid of redemption,” wrote Andrew Nette (author of Ghost Money and Gunshine State).
In addition to Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett, Nightmare Alley‘s all-star cast Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Ron Perlman, Richard Jenkins, and David Strathairn. Searchlight is targeting a December 17, 2021 theatrical release.