Guillermo del Toro is famously known for his work in everything from fantasy and animated to horror films. Pans Labyrinth, The Shape of Water, Puss In Boots, and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark are just a few of the incredible films with Guillermo’s name attached to them.
It was announced in December of 2017 that Guillermo wanted to write and direct a film adaptation of Nightmare Alley, a William Lindsay Gresham novel. The cast includes the likes of Cate Blanchett, Willem Defoe, and Ron Pearlman. Guillermo’s meeting with Cooper was particularly stand-out for the director as was discussed in Tribeca Talks.
“We started talking script and then this started mirroring our thoughts about life and the way we viewed the world. We entered strange, darker times that led to ‘Nightmare Alley’ for me, and changed the way I view the world.”
In that same meeting, Guillermo found inspiration for the film — as well as for future projects and knew Cooper would be an incredible addition to the movie.
“A director is an actor and an actor is a director. There is no separation of the craft…that took a while for me to get used to. I normally create and guide these little Fabergé eggs of movies, obsessively detailed. All of a sudden we were on an adventure. I will never shoot a movie the same way.”
A first look by Vanity Fair today highlighted some of what fans can expect to see when the film debuts this December.
While the film may sound like it’s got some terrifying or supernatural element, Guillermo says that’s not the case, and he wanted to explain that before people saw the movie.
“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.”
Instead, the darkness in this movie is very much human, or maybe the circumstances around human nature. No matter where the evil comes from, it’s not super-human, it’s a story about the fight for more and the hunger for glamour and fame and of course, the lengths people will go to get it. It’s about those at the top and how they stay there, who they’re willing to crush on the way.
Nightmare Alley is set to be released on December 17th, 2021.