'Nightmare Alley' Trailer: Guillermo del Toro Takes Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett & An All-Star Cast Into A Seductive Noir World

It’s been four years since Guillermo del Toro‘s Academy Award-dominating “The Shape of Water,” and following that win, the Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker is back with his new film, “Nightmare Alley,” a reimagining of a 1940a noir about seduction, treachery, deception, gaslighting, manipulation and more, starring Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett.

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The film features an ensemble cast that includes Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, and David Strathairn, arguably the biggest all-star cast of 2021. Written by del Toro and movie writer and journalist Kim Morgan, the film is based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, which was also made into the 1947 version of the film starring Tyrone Power.

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The film centers on Stan Carlisle (Cooper), an ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words, who hooks up with Dr. Lilith Ritter (Blanchett), a psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is.

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Del Toro is known for horror films, but the filmmaker is adamant that you should not take that misconception from this film. This is classic noir. “This has no supernatural element,” he told Vanity Fair this week. “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].”

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The only monsters in this film are the people, horrible, wretched, double-crossing people out for their own again, set in the backdrop of the carnival world. “The carnival is almost like a microcosm of the world,” del Toro says. “Everybody’s there to swindle everybody. But at the same time, in the carnival, the [workers] know they need each other. In the city, much less so.”

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“Nightmare Alley” is currently scheduled for a December 17 release date via Searchlight Pictures. They released his last Oscar-winner and are surely looking for some kind of repeat. Watch the first trailer below and see if you think this one has awards contender written all over it.