Guillermo del Toro on filming ‘Nightmare Alley’ in aftermath of COVID-19

Director Guillermo del Toro   | Photo Credit: MARIO ANZUONI

Guillermo del Toro may have amassed a star-studded cast for his next “Nightmare Alley” but the filmmaker is finding it tough to restart filming for the movie in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.

The film, which del Toro co-wrote with Kim Morgan, is based on the 1946 novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham.

Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett lead the cast that also includes Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Rooney Mara and David Strathairn.

“Nightmare Alley” was among the popular Hollywood projects that were forced to stop production due to the pandemic.

Now that production activities have restarted in the US, del Toro has said that it is an “enormous” task for him to accommodate everyone’s schedule.

“We’ve been going through more schedules than ever. The blessing of having this cast is amazing, but the difficulties of rescheduling with all this are enormous. Because everybody is on the mend, everybody is going everywhere. You have to work around everybody’s schedule,” del Toro said during a panel at Comic Con at Home.

“One of the things I like to think is that for every problem in every movie, there is one simple and graceful solution. Sometimes you don’t see it right away, but I think we’ve found the silver bullet, so to speak, knock on wood, to make it work. But it is not easy,” he added.

Things have also changed drastically on the sets, del Toro said, as the team has to follow an elaborate set of guidelines to ensure a safe environment for everyone involved in the process.

“You’re operating a large, surgical theatre. You have to be sterile, you have to have everybody in conditions that are almost clinical, but you have to reenact the carnival with the extras and everything.

“The way you approach it is different. The way you stage with the extras, the way you stack them, the way you hire them, for example. Extras are hired by the day normally; now you’re gonna buy them out for many, many weeks... There’s dozens and dozens of pages of caution that we had to really consider,” del Toro said.

“Nightmare Alley” features Cooper as Stanton “Stan” Carlisle, an ambitious carnival worker with a talent for manipulating people. He then meets a female psychiatrist (Blanchett) who is even more dangerous than he is.

The project hails from Disney-owned Searchlight Pictures.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 10:17:08 AM |

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