As his vacation from film directing draws to a close, Guillermo del Toro seems ready to get to work with two big projects on his hands: a stop-motion remake of Pinocchio for Netflix, and the retelling of novel/noir pot boiler Nightmare Alley. While casting on that second project was moving forward with Leonardo DiCaprio in mind for the lead, it appears that none other than Bradley Cooper is now in the running for this dark and twisting tale’s male lead.
The offer to star in Nightmare Alley has reportedly gone out to Bradley Cooper within the past couple of days, with news getting out that DiCaprio and those in charge of making this deal couldn’t see eye to eye. At this time, the same sources that say Cooper is in talks to take the lead haven't an inkling as to whether or not he’ll accept.
Bradley Cooper teaming up with Guillermo del Toro is a prospect that’s pretty impressive. With Cooper coming off of a fantastic 2018, thanks to his remake of A Star Is Born, as well as his role in Avengers: Endgame making his 2019 pretty bright as well, the triple threat who helped remake a well-worn Hollywood staple into something new and invigorating certainly understands a thing or two about revisiting a previously told tale.
But to have a chance to see Bradley Cooper attacking a role as dark as Stanton Carlisle, the carnival barker who’ll do anything to get what he wants, is something that’s hard not to get excited about. We’ve seen hime as a hero, or even an anti-hero, quite often; but rarely have we seen Cooper turn to the dark side of his talents.
While this deal is still being worked out, and the potential participation of Bradley Cooper in this new adaptation of Nightmare Alley isn’t written in stone, the project still has a promising pedigree behind its inception. Guillermo del Toro, in a fashion true to his career, is planning to serve not only as the director of this suspense thriller, but he’s also co-written the film’s script with writer Kim Morgan; as per Variety’s reporting on this film’s latest developments.
Part of his overall deal with Fox Searchlight, Nightmare Alley is a fitting project for the studio, as the original film adaptation of author William Lindsay Gresham’s novel was previously made as a film for Fox in 1947. It’s safe to say that with this new version of that same story, del Toro and Morgan will be adhering to the original timeframe of the source material. Which is even more comforting, as Guillermo del Toro has shown time and time again, with projects such as Crimson Peak and The Shape of Water that he knows how to marry the look of a bygone era with the tone of a more modern thriller.
Bradley Cooper and Guillermo del Toro could be one hell of a filmmaking team, should this Nightmare Alley deal go through. And as soon as there are any updates, we’ll report them here on CinemaBlend as they break.
In the meantime, Bradley Cooper’s A Star Is Born has just hit HBO; and Guillermo del Toro is the producer and co-writer on Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, which will hit theaters on August 9th. For more information on films heading our way this year, take a look at our 2019 release schedule for further information.