Guillermo del Toro has added a remake of film noir Nightmare Alley to his directing slate. The filmmaker is currently enjoying some of the best reviews of his career with The Shape Of Water, a drama involving the unusual love story between a mute woman and a fish creature. Some critics have praised it as the director's best work to date, and it’s expected to do well during awards season.
While del Toro is a filmmaker who always seems to be developing multiple projects at the same time, he recently announced he would be taking a yearlong break from directing to recharge his batteries. His next directing project is expected to be a remake of Fantastic Voyage, which James Cameron will produce.
Now, del Toro has added another remake to his to-do list, as Variety reports that the filmmaker will co-write and direct a new take on 1947’s Nightmare Alley. This noir thriller starred Tyrone Power as a con man who sets up an act with a female psychiatrist to swindle millionaires, but his greed eventually destroys him. While the film is considered a classic now, it wasn’t a success at the time - with the studio head behind it finding the movie so offensive he took it out of circulation for years.
Variety’s report makes it clear that while del Toro is working on Nightmare Alley's script, it likely won’t be his next directing gig. While del Toro is beloved among movie fans, he also seems to have notoriously bad luck when it comes to developing projects. He worked for over a year developing a two-part adaptation of The Hobbit, before departing over delays. He was also due to helm an ambitious adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s At The Mountains Of Madness with James Cameron producing, but the film’s large budget and bleak tone caused the studio to pull the plug on it.
Fans who waited years for a possible Hellboy III had their hearts broken at the beginning of 2017 too when del Toro confirmed his planned trilogy capper would never happen; shortly afterwards, a reboot starring David Harbour was announced. del Toro himself has pointed out that the projects he announces as his next movie rarely work out, but hopefully, Nightmare Alley will come to fruition, as it would be genuinely intriguing to see what he would do with a classic film noir story.
Nightmare Alley doesn’t currently have a release date, but we’ll keep you updated as more information arrives.