See Bradley Cooper In The Terrifying Trailer For Nightmare Alley

The final trailer for Guillermo del Toro's new film Nightmare Alley is here

By Carolyn Jenkins | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

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Bradley Cooper has returned as a leading man in Guillermo Del Toro’s next film. Del Toro has not directed a feature since 2017 but now he’s back with the thrilling world of Nightmare Alley. The final trailer for the upcoming film was released today and it sets up a mysterious atmosphere that mirrors that of 1940’s film noir. There are no venetian blinds or voice over narration, says Del Toro, but it will still represent the gritty world of noir that was present at the time.

Bradley Cooper plays Stanton Carlisle, a manipulative figure who works at a carnival. He is so persuasive that he poses as a medium. His abilities get him into trouble when he teams up with another manipulator. Cate Blanchett plays psychiatrist Lilith Ritter who appears as the femme fatale role in the trailer. Cate Blanchett’s villainy seeps through as Stan continues down a dark road that ends in bloodshed. You can see the final trailer for Nightmare Alley below.

Nightmare Alley is a departure from Del Toro’s usual fare. The director is known for magical realism. Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water show so-called monsters in a gentle light. The Shape of Water was Del Toro’s take on The Creature From the Black Lagoon and is ultimately a love story. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Del Toro confessed that Crimson Peak was misunderstood and that may repeat with Nightmare Alley. Fans used to supernatural or horror elements will not be getting that with the new film. Bradley Cooper’s character does not appear to possess otherworldly abilities, though he tries to pass them off as such.

Part of the reason for this deviation is that Nightmare Alley is not an original work from Del Toro. The film is based a book written in 1946 by William Lindsay Gresham. The book was adapted into a film the following year. Del Toro establishes that his new film is not an adaptation of the movie, but his own version of the original book.

Simply judging by the trailer, Bradley Cooper is compelling as the lead. Cooper has pulled off a versatile body of work and Nightmare Alley looks to be no exception. Stan is not an outright sympathetic character. He manipulates people especially when he partners up with Dr. Ritter. The longer he accepts her as a companion, the more he seems to suffer. A shadowy organization questions him about his gifts as a medium and his life turns to turmoil.

nightmare alley
Photo by Kerry Hayes and Vanity Fair

Nightmare Alley has a cast full of accomplished actors. Among others are Rooney Mara, Richard Jenkins, and Willem Dafoe. While Bradley Cooper is in good company, there is no question that he has proven himself in the past. He is notable for voicing Rocket Raccoon in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, but he has had practiced hands behind the camera as well. He was nominated for an Oscar in 2018 for directing A Star Is Born. Cooper also starred in the film as washed up alcoholic, Jackson Maine. Fans can watch his performance in Nightmare Alley when it premieres in theaters December 17th.