Guillermo del Toro’s ‘Nightmare Alley’ Gets R Rating for “Strong Violence” and More

Guillermo del Toro on the set of Pacific Rim

Nightmare Alley, the upcoming psychological thriller from Guillermo del Toro, has just received an R-rating from the MPAA for strong/bloody violence, some sexual content, nudity, and language.

Production on the film officially wrapped in December of last year after it was shut down for six months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nightmare Alley will follow a manipulative carny who gets wrapped up with a dangerous female psychiatrist. Del Toro’s latest stars Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collette, Rooney Mara, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, and several other recognizable names.

The hard R-rating isn’t terribly surprising, considering the fact that del Toro’s last two films, Crimson Peak and The Shape of Water, received the same rating. Audiences should be expecting a no-holds-barred experience, filled with brutal violence and plenty of twists and turns along the way. On top of serving as the director of the project, del Toro also co-wrote the script with Kim Morgan. Del Toro is also producing the film, along with frequent collaborator J. Miles Dale.


Image via Fox Searchlight

RELATED: Guillermo del Toro Explains How the Pandemic Changed ‘Nightmare Alley’: “I Will Never Shoot a Movie the Same Way”

Nightmare Alley is based on the classic noir novel of the same name by William Lindsay Gresham, which was published way back in 1946. Del Toro’s Nightmare Alley is actually the second film adaption of Gresham’s novel. In 1947, a year after the novel was released, Edmund Goulding directed a neo-noir film adaptation of Nightmare Alley, which is now considered a classic. Del Toro has made it clear that his new film will serve as its own unique adaptation of Gresham’s novel rather than a remake of Goulding’s film, so audiences should expect del Toro’s interpretation of the source material to be heavier, bloodier, and possibly more fun. The film took two and half years to complete, so the fact that it’s finally being released this December will most likely be a huge relief to everyone involved.

Nightmare Alley appears to be del Toro’s first film as a director to not feature supernatural elements, but based on its MPAA rating, that doesn’t mean it will be short on blood and gore. To see just how hardcore del Toro’s new movie truly is, audiences will have to flock to theaters this upcoming holiday season.

Nightmare Alley is scheduled to be released by Searchlight Pictures on December 3.

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