Nightmare Alley to be hard R with no supernatural elements, Says Del Toro
As the acclaimed writer/director Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) builds his cast for the adaptation of 1946 noir novel Nightmare Alley, he has begun revealing details on the project, including that he is going for an R-rating and that it will not include some of the more fantastical elements he has become known for.
“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,” del Toro told Collider in an interview. “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.”
The 54-year-old writer/director also revealed that the movie will not just be an R-rated thriller, but a “Double R!” rating.
Nightmare Alley, written by Del Toro and Kim Morgan, will be based on the novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, previously adapted into a movie by Fox in 1947. The novel “follows the exploits of Stanton Carlisle, a ruthless hustler who learns the tricks of the carny trade and uses them to establish himself as a spiritual guru, preying on the wealthy and the weak.”
The cast will be led by Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born) with Cate Blanchett (Where’d You Go, Bernadette?), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Mark Povinelli (Water for Elephants) and The Shape of Water‘s Michael Shannon and Richard Jenkins all in talks to star alongside him.
The 1947 movie starred Tyrone Power as an ambitious young con-man who teams up with a female psychiatrist who is even more corrupt than he is. At first, they enjoy success fleecing people with their mentalist act, but then she turns the tables on him, out-manipulating the manipulator.
Del Toro will direct produce alongside J. Miles Dale with TSG Entertainment. Fox Searchlight has worldwide distribution rights to the film. Nightmare Alley is scheduled to begin shooting this fall.
(Photo Credit: Backgrid Images)