Leonardo DiCaprio Circling Role In New Guillermo Del Toro Movie

Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
(Image credit: (Sony))

Leonardo DiCaprio is one of those actors who will get the chance to work with just about all of the greatest filmmakers of our time. The Oscar-winner has collaborated with Christopher Nolan, Alejandro Iñárritu, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Ridley Scott, Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, the list goes on. And the list might be getting longer, because the actor is reportedly in talks to star in Guillermo del Toro’s next project, titled Nightmare Alley.

The filmmaker, best known for stylized films such as Pan’s Labyrinth and Crimson Peak, has been taking a year off from directing, but he's set to make a strong return with a coming adaptation of thriller Nightmare Alley, based on the ‘40s noir by William Lindsay Gresham. Leonardo DiCaprio would star as conman Stanton “Stan” Carlisle, who pairs up with a female psychologist to swindle people into giving them their riches.

Guillermo del Toro has penned the script with Kim Morgan, and he will produce the film with frequent collaborator J. Miles Dale for Fox Searchlight, according to Deadline. The novel was previously adapted into a movie in 1947 starring Tyrone Power, but the upcoming Nightmare Alley is said to be drawing more from the source material than serving as a remake to the previous film.

Nightmare Alley is scheduled to begin shooting in the fall, amongst del Toro’s other high-profile project, a new Pinocchio movie for Netflix. The streaming service is backing the project for the writer/director, which will be a new take on the fairytale that is set behind fascist Italy. Disney was previously to add the tale to its live-action slate starring Tom Hanks as Geppetto, but it has since reportedly been cancelled, maybe due to competition with del Toro’s vision.

Guillermo del Toro was recently recognized with a Best Picture win for his 2017 girl meets fish romance The Shape of Water. He has since been producing his upcoming horror film Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark and Antlers.

Leonardo DiCaprio is infamously choosy about what roles he signs on for. His last role was all the way back in 2015 for The Revenant. The actor will soon return to the big screen for Quentin Tarantino’s highly-anticipated next film Once Upon a Time in Hollywood as a ‘60s television actor named Rick Dalton. He will also team back up with Martin Scorsese for an adaptation of Killers of the Flower Moon and potentially for a Theodore Roosevelt biopic.

If the actor joins Nightmare Alley, it will certainly be the highest-profile collaboration Guillermo del Toro has opted for, since the director has usually hired lesser-known actors in his prior films. It’s an exciting project to look forward to, especially the idea of DiCaprio and del Toro taking on the noir genre together.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.