Bradley Cooper in Talks to Join Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Nightmare Alley’

A Star is Born‘ actor Bradley Cooper is reportedly in early talks to join Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming movie ‘Nightmare Alley.’ The Fox Searchlight production is an adaptation of the 1946 classic novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham. Variety reports that both sides are actively involved in the first round of negotiations. Cooper will replace Leonardo DiCaprio, who dropped the project after the early round of talks ended up without closing a deal.

‘Nightmare Alley’ marks del Toro’s return to the director’s chair after the critically acclaimed ‘The Shape of Water,’ which was also made by Fox Searchlight. Del Toro co-wrote the script for ‘Nightmare Ally’ with his regular collaborator Kim Morgan. The director also produces the movie along with J. Miles Dale and TSG Entertainment. Fox Searchlight has acquired worldwide distribution rights to the movie.

The plot centers on a skilled con man named Stan Carlisle who teams up with a female psychiatrist for executing well-planned con jobs. With the help of a mentalist sham, the duo finds success in defrauding people. But when Stan realizes the mysterious woman is more cunning than him, their plans turn upside down. Del Toro is yet to find the female lead and other cast members for the project.

After ‘The Shape of Water’ swept the board at the Academy Awards by winning multiple Oscars, del Toro decided to take a time-out. In the meantime, the director produces the Fox Searchlight movie, ‘Antlers.’ Fox made a ‘Nightmare Alley’ movie adaptation in 1947 with director Edmund Goulding. The movie featured Tyrone Power in the lead. But reports say del Toro prefers to make his version based on Gresham’s original novel. ‘Nightmare Alley’ is scheduled to start rolling this fall.

Cooper, who hit headlines for his Oscar snub in January,’ rang the cash registers with the movie ‘A Star is Born.’ The movie earned more than $400M worldwide, and went on to collect eight Oscar nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Song for ‘Shallow.’ But Cooper was mysteriously left out of the Best Director category. His upcoming projects include the Leonard Bernstein biopic titled ‘Bernstein.’

On the other hand, del Toro also produces the upcoming horror flick ‘Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark‘ directed by André Øvredal. The movie is lined up for an August 9, 2019 release. Apart from ‘Nightmare Alley,’ del Toro is set to helm the long-awaited stop-motion version of ‘Pinocchio’ from Netflix.

Cover Image Courtesy:  Columbia Pictures (American Hustle).