The film, in theaters on Dec. 17, follows Stan Carlisle (Bradley Cooper), an ambitious carny with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words, as he meets Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett), a psychiatrist who is even more dangerous than he is.
Rounding out the all-star cast are Willem Dafoe as Clem Hoately, Toni Collette as Zeena Krumbein, Richard Jenkins as Ezra Grindle, Ron Perlman as Bruno, Rooney Mara as Molly Cahill, Holt McCallany as Anderson, Tim Blake Nelson as Carny Boss, Mary Steenburgen as Miss Harrington, David Strathairn as Pete Krumbein, and Clifton Collins Jr.
Jim Beaver will play Sheriff Jedediah Judd, Mark Povinelli will portray The Major and David Hewlett will take on Dr. Elrood. Romina Power and Paul Anderson also appear in the movie.
Based on William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name, “Nightmare Alley” marks a departure for the “Shape of Water” director, as it contains no “supernatural” elements.
“Now is the first chance I have to do a real underbelly of society type of movie,” del Toro told Collider in 2019. “[There are] no supernatural elements. Just a straight, really dark story.” The director also confirmed that the film is very R-rated.
The movie is written by del Toro and Kim Morgan, and distributed by Searchlight Pictures. J. Miles Dale produces with del Toro, whose usual collaborators Luis Sequeira and Dan Laustsen are the costume designer and cinematographer, respectively.
Watch the trailer below.