Nightmare Alley: Willem Dafoe Cast in Guillermo del Toro thriller
Oscar-nominee Willem Dafoe (Platoon, At Eternity’s Gate, The Lighthouse) has joined the cast of Guillermo del Toro’s (The Shape of Water) thriller Nightmare Alley adaptation from Fox Searchlight, Variety has confirmed.
Dafoe, whose upcoming projects include The Last Thing He Wanted, The French Dispatch, Togo, and Siberia, will play Clem Hoately in the movie, the header barker at a traveling carnival who gives Bradley Cooper’s character a job, ushering him into a world of show biz and grifting.
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?) alongside Toni Collette (Hereditary), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Mark Povinelli (Water for Elephants), David Strathairn (Billions) and The Shape of Water‘s Richard Jenkins.
Strathairn, who most recently appeared on the big screen in this year’s monster blockbuster Godzilla: King of the Monsters, is set to portray the alcoholic husband to Collette’s mentalist Zeena, who will act as mentor to Cooper’s Stanton.
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.