Bradley Cooper has entered into negotiations to join Guillermo del Toro’s adaptation of the William Lindsay Gresham novel ‘Nightmare Alley’.

Cooper is said to be in early talks for the adaptation to fill the vacant role left by Leonardo DiCaprio, who ended up passing on the project after a deal could not be reached.

Del Toro will take the helm on the picture which he co-wrote with Kim Morgan. He will also produce and finance the project with J. Miles Dale with TSG Entertainment.

The story follows a young Stan Carlisle who 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 a 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. William Lindsay Gresham’s novel is a dark jewel, a classic American tale about the varieties of deception and self-deception and the dream of a redemption-a dream that is only a nightmare in disguise.

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The book was first adapted in 1947 but deviated slightly from the book. It followed a young con-man who teams 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 tables on him, out-manipulating the manipulator.

Cooper is still reeling in the success of the remake of ‘A Star is Born’ in which he directed and starred opposite Lady Gaga. He also appeared in the Clint Eastwood crime drama ‘The Mule’.