Bradley Cooper is in talks to star in Guillermo del Toro‘s “Nightmare Alley,” an adaptation of the William Lindsay Gresham novel of the same name. As reported first by Variety, Cooper would be replacing Leonardo DiCaprio in the role, as negotiations continue.
From the Variety exclusive:
Sources say Cooper recently received an offer and while it’s currently unclear if a deal will close, sources indicate both sides have engaged in talks. Cooper would take the place of Leonardo DiCaprio, who ended up passing on the project after a deal could not be reached.
“Nightmare Alley” is being produced and financed by del Toro and J. Miles Dale with TSG Entertainment, with Fox Searchlight acquiring worldwide distribution rights to the film.
The project in the works is an adaptation of the 1947 film-noir “Nightmare Alley,” directed by Edmund Goulding, where a young con man confides and befriends a female psychiatrist only to be outwitted by her corruptness. The film is said to be leaning more toward the notes of the novel source.
Cooper is a multiple Oscar-nominated actor, having starred in “Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Sniper,” “American Hustle” and last year’s remake of “A Star Is Born.” The latter project, still fresh as it aired on HBO this month, marks the actor’s directorial debut in which he stars alongside Lady Gaga. The film was nominated at the Academy Awards for its screenplay, lead and supporting performances, cinematography, original song, sound mixing and best picture. The lead duo’s emotional song “Shallow” took the Oscar as it seemed unanimous.
Del Toro will be directing the film as well as writing the script with co-writer Kim Morgan, who was an additional writer on “Seances” and “The Forbidden Room.” The Academy Award-winning director is most known for his films “The Shape of Water,” “Hellboy (2004),” “Pan’s Labyrinth,” and producing/writing the upcoming film adaptation of “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” by André Øvredal.
“Nightmare Alley” will be produced and distributed by Fox Searchlight. Other roles for the film are left to be filled, with more developments to follow as production nears this fall.