Leonardo DiCaprio is in talks to star in Guillermo del Toro’s next epic movie Nightmare Alley.
This will be the first film project that del Toro will direct since The Shape of Water. It will be an adaptation of the 1946 novel about an “ambitious young con-man who hooks up with a female psychiatrist who is even more corrupt than he is. At first, they enjoy success fleecing people with their mentalist act, but then she turns the table on him, out-manipulating the manipulator.”
DiCaprio will be appearing in Quentin Tarantino’s next film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
Here’s a more detailed description of the story from the book:
Nightmare Alley begins with an extraordinary description of a freak-show geek—alcoholic and abject and the object of the voyeuristic crowd’s gleeful disgust and derision—going about his work at a county fair. Young Stan Carlisle is working as a carny, and he wonders how a man could fall so low. There’s no way in hell, he vows, that anything like that will ever happen to him.
And since Stan is clever and ambitious and not without a useful streak of ruthlessness, soon enough he’s going places. Onstage he plays the mentalist with a cute bimbo (before long his harried wife), then he graduates to full-blown spiritualist, catering to the needs of the rich and gullible in their well-upholstered homes. It looks like the world is Stan’s for the taking. At least for now.