Guillermo del Toro confirms 45 percent of Nightmare Alley shot
This year has seen a number of productions shut down around the globe, one of the most buzzed-about being Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of Nightmare Alley, and in a recent interview with IndieWire, the Oscar winner has revealed he and his crew got 45 percent of the film shot before it was halted.
In looking back at early March, when new Searchlight Pictures owner Disney announced production had come to a halt on the psychological thriller, Del Toro revealed that he approached the studio first to ask about shutting it down prior to their asking.
“We reacted super fast, we proposed the studio to stop as opposed to being asked to stop,” del Toro said. “That saved us. Nobody to my knowledge in the cast or the crew got coronavirus. We were roughly 45 percent in. We were literally in the middle of a great scene. We went to lunch and talked to the studio and when we came back we said, ‘Everybody leave your tools and leave now.‘”
The 55-year-old filmmaker expressed his hope to return to shooting the film in the fall, keeping his “fingers crossed,” while also looking on the bright side as his stop-motion musical adaptation of Pinocchio is slowly getting back to shooting, even working on recording ADR for the latter in the meantime. For both productions, del Toro has also penned 80-page documents laying out safety protocols and ensuring they stay intact for when cast and crew return to sets.
“In stop-motion, you have many sets nearby one another in a warehouse like space,” del Toro said. “You can have 10 sets in one space. We had to create a protocol where we now space the sets a certain number of feet. We created different shifts so no one is exposed. In this moment, security is paramount. Health, safety is the number one concert. We got to get used to it. I don’t think we can go back to what we consider the old normal. Everything will be a little altered.”
Nightmare Alley, written by del Toro and 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.”
Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper (A Star is Born) will the star-studded cast that includes multi-award winning-actresses Cate Blanchett (Where’d You Go, Bernadette?), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Rooney Mara (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) along with Oscar-nominee Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse) Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Mark Povinelli (Water for Elephants), David Strathairn (Billions), Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water) and Holt McCallany (Mindhunter).
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.
Nightmare Alley will be directed by Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro, who will also serve as a producer alongside J. Miles Dale with TSG Entertainment. Searchlight Pictures (formerly named Fox Searchlight) has worldwide distribution rights to the film.
(Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)