Bradley Cooper claims to possess some psychic powers in a new trailer for Guillermo del Toro's upcoming film Nightmare Alley. This is latest project from the award-winning writer-director, whose previous release, The Shape of Water, won him the Academy Award for Best Picture. Nightmare Alley will be distributed by Searchlight Pictures and is set to hit theaters on December 17.

Based on William Lindsay Gresham's 1946 novel of the same name, del Toro's film is about a carny named Stanton "Stan" Carlisle, portrayed by Cooper, a talented manipulator who claims to be a true medium. However, getting involved with psychiatrist Lilith Ritter, played by Cate Blanchett, to trick people into giving them money puts the charlatan in far more trouble than he bargained for. Along with those two stars, Nightmare Alley features a host of recognizable faces, including Toni Collette, Rooney Mara, and Willem Dafoe.


With the release date just a month out, Searchlight Pictures shares a new trailer providing the clearest look so far at what to expect from the psychological thriller. The trailer opens with Carlisle being interrogated about his status as a medium intercut with shots of a nighttime carnival, as well as footage that seems to indicate a romance between him and Mara's character, Molly. However, based on what follows, Carlisle tries to con the wrong people and quickly finds his life in jeopardy. Check out the Nightmare Alley trailer below:

Little of the plot is revealed in the trailer, which instead chooses to introduce the audience to its characters, though violence appears to be a certainty. Manipulation clearly also plays a heavy hand, as evidenced by the final line from Blanchett: "If you displease the right people, the world closes in on you very, very fast." With Cooper and Blanchett's ominous relationship being highlighted in the footage, violence and manipulation seem like they will come second nature for these characters.

While not much is shown in the trailer, the novel Nightmare Alley is based on has already been adapted into a 1947 movie starring Tyrone Power, Joan Blondell, Coleen Gray, and Helen Walker. The original novel tells the story of Carlisle and Ritter teaming up and tricking people into giving them money. However, with del Toro telling a psychological thriller story, perhaps there will be more twists and turns than just a direct adaptation of the novel. A neo-noir is new ground for the director, who is more famous for his dives into fantasy and horror. However, with an award-winning filmmaker, a star-studded cast, and a December 17 release date, Nightmare Alley is gearing up for awards season and could possibly be another del Toro classic.

Source: Searchlight Pictures

Key Release Dates
  • Nightmare Alley (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
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