The first trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley has arrived. It feels like only a handful of directors can get by on name alone these days, and del Toro is one of them. Known for directing darkly fantastical movies like Pan’s Labyrinth alongside distinctive blockbusters like Hellboy, del Toro has cemented himself as one of the most exciting filmmakers working today. His latest movie since the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water, Nightmare Alley, promises to be an intriguing addition to his filmography. It will finally arrive in December after completing production last year.
Nightmare Alley boasts a star-studded cast led by Bradley Cooper. He plays con man Stan Carlisle, a carny with a talent for manipulating people. Stan’s life is turned upside down when he meets the dangerously twisted psychiatrist Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett). In addition to the two Oscar nominees, Nightmare Alley includes the talents of Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman, Richard Jenkins, David Strathairn, Tim Blake Nelson, and Mary Steenburgen.
After teasing its arrival all week, Searchlight Pictures has unveiled the first trailer for del Toro’s Nightmare Alley. Clocking in at just over a minute and a half, the new footage plunges viewers right into the carnival at the center of the film and offers plenty of glimpses of the eccentric characters who fill it. Check it out down below.
Nightmare Alley is based on the book of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham. It was previously turned into a movie in 1947, meaning del Toro’s updated take is not the first time this story has hit the big screen. Nevertheless, based on the new trailer, it’s clear the auteur has put his own spin on the twisted tale. Del Toro has said Nightmare Alley isn’t a fantasy like his most recent efforts The Shape of Water and Crimson Peak, but more like a classic film noir.
The first Nightmare Alley trailer is light on plot specifics, but filled with plenty of striking visuals. From what looks like Stan and Lilith’s first meeting to the final shot of the former sitting in a burning room, Nightmare Alley looks gorgeous. Those tantalizing images would be enough to draw viewers in, but the voiceover from Dafoe adds an extra layer. He’s calling on carnival guests to decide if a strange being is a man or a beast, though the end of the Nightmare Alley trailer suggests it’s Stan who could also be the subject of this debate. Even if the genre is slightly out of his usual wheelhouse, this movie is classic del Toro. Audiences can see this chilling tale play out when Nightmare Alley arrives in theaters later this year.