Willem Dafoe signs up for Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley

Willem Dafoe has joined the likes of Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley.The upcoming project, the second movie adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name, is set in a world of carnival hus…

Willem Dafoe has joined the likes of Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett in Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley.

The upcoming project, the second movie adaptation of William Lindsay Gresham’s 1946 novel of the same name, is set in a world of carnival hustlers, and tells the story of a con man named Stanton ‘Stan’ Carlisle, portrayed by Cooper, who teams up with psychologist Lilith, to be played by Blanchett, to swindle the rich before she turns the tables on him.

The Oscar nominee has been cast as Clem Hoately, a head barker at a travelling carnival who gives Carlisle a job, according to Variety.

He joins a cast which also includes Toni Collette, who will portray a mentalist named Zeena who mentors Carlisle, and Rooney Mara, who will be playing Carlisle’s love interest, Molly.

Richard Jenkins and Michael Shannon, who previously starred in del Toro’s previous film, the Oscar-winning The Shape of Water, are also reportedly circling the project, while his Hellboy collaborator Ron Perlman is rumoured to have a role.

Del Toro will direct the film for Fox Searchlight from a script he co-wrote with Kim Morgan, with production set to begin at the start of 2020. Nightmare Alley was previously brought to the screen in 1947, with Tyrone Power taking on the role of Carlisle.

Dafoe is enjoying an impressive run of projects of late. He has been receiving critical praise for his performance alongside Robert Pattinson in David Eggers’s The Lighthouse and will soon be seen in Edward Norton’s directorial effort, Motherless Brooklyn, as well as political thriller The Last Thing He Wanted.

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