Willem Defoe has officially joined the cast of Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming film, Nightmare Alley.
Based on the novel by the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, Nightmare Alley is the story of a man named Stan (Bradley Cooper) who teams up with a female psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) to create a mentalist act in a traveling carnival. Eventually, Stan realizes that she has turned the tables on him and things take a very dark turn.
The novel was written during a particularly dark time in the author’s life. He was an alcoholic and reportedly abusive to his second wife, Joy Davidman, who eventually left him and went on to marry C.S. Lews, author of The Screwtape Letters and The Chronicles of Narnia. Literary critics have spent a great deal of time picking apart the novel and its subject matter.
Defoe will play Clem Hoatley, a barker at the carnival who plays a pivotal role in the novel.
This is the first film of del Toro’s to feature no supernatural elements and it will be interesting to see how he handles this particular type of story.
Cooper, Blanchett, and Defoe lead a brilliant cast that also includes Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Ron Perlman, and David Straithairn.
Defoe has been receiving rave reviews on his work in this year’s terrifying The Lighthouse which he stars in opposite Robert Pattinson.
With this lineup of talent behind and in front of the camera, all eyes will definitely be on this project.