Guillermo del Toro is getting ready to film his next movie, a new adaptation of Nightmare Alley, and the filmmaker is lining up a stacked cast. Originally, Leonardo DiCaprio was being eyed for the lead role. However, that didn't pan out. Instead, Bradley Cooper, coming hot off of his directorial debut A Star is Born, which he also starred in and earned a Best Actor nomination for, is taking on that part. Now, we have word on who is going to be joining him, and Cate Blanchett is on the list. Amazingly, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
According to a new report, Cate Blanchett (Thor: Ragnarok), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Richard Jenkins (The Shape of Water), Ron Perlman (Hellboy), Willem Dafoe (Aquaman), Rooney Mara (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Michael Shannon (The Current War) and Mark Povinelli (Water for Elephants) are all in talks to join the cast. It should be noted that none of the deals have closed yet, so the final cast list may not look exactly like this. Even so, nabbing just a few of the stars on this list would be huge. If Guillermo del Toro can close all of these deals, it would be tough to imagine a better ensemble in recent memory.
Toni Collette is said to be eyed as the female lead opposite Bradley Cooper. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara are said to be in the mix as key supporting roles. Michael Shannon's role would be small, though it's stated scheduling, with him specifically, may be an issue. Details on the other roles for the rest of the potential cast members weren't revealed at this time. However, Ron Perlman doesn't come as a surprise, as he and del Toro have collaborated many times over the years. It's also not surprising that so many A-listers want to get in on the action, since this will serve as the director's follow-up to The Shape of Water, which went on to win Best Picture.
Nightmare Alley started life as a novel by William Lindsay Gresham, but was turned into a movie in 1947. However, it's said that this version will skew closer to the novel. The story centers on a man who joins a traveling circus and attempts to figure out the mind-reading act of Mademoiselle Zeena, who does the act with her alcoholic husband. When her husband dies, Zeena takes on this man as her new partner, with reluctance. He quickly proves to be better suited for the job and chooses to bail on Zeena, rebranding himself as "The Great Stanton." Not surprisingly, things don't go great from there.
The screenplay was penned by Guillermo del Toro and Kim Morgan. The expectation is that production will kick off in early 2020. A release date hasn't been set just yet, but at the earliest, it would seem like we can expect to see this in late 2020, if del Toto puts his foot on the gas. In any case, this is a cast that will be worth waiting for. We'll be sure to keep you posted as further details on the project are made available. This news was previously reported by Collider.