According to Variety, Willem Dafoe has joined the cast of Guillermo Del Toro’s next project, Nightmare Alley. The Oscar-winning director has also got Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, and Rooney Mara on board for his next picture, which is set to begin production next year.
In the film, Dafoe will play the leader of a traveling carnival who gives Cooper a job. Once there, Cooper’s character is introduced to the underbelly of showbusiness and learns the finer points of grifting. Nightmare Alley shares a title with a 1946 novel by William Lindsay Graham and a 1947 film adaptation starring Tyronne Power. Del Toro claims that his film will draw much more heavily on the novel than the classic Hollywood film, which took a few liberties with the source.
Dafoe is currently receiving mounds of praise for his role in David Eggers’ The Lighthouse. Nightmare Alley will be his return to big-budget filmmaking after appearing in DC’s 2018 smash-hit Aquaman. Del Toro received a fair amount of praise himself earlier this year for his adaptation of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
Nightmare Alley has yet to receive a release date. But, production is expected to begin sometime in early 2020.