In 2018, the film industry brought over $2B in production investment to Toronto, and the 1,400 projects created about 30,000 jobs for Torontonians. The city has a comprehensive Strategic Action Plan for the Film, Television and Digital Media Industry (2017) that highlights how Toronto is, and will continue to be, a “major North American centre of excellence in the screen industries, exceeding the $1 billion mark for the sixth consecutive year.” It’s exhilarating knowing that a film is literally being filmed in your backyard, and that’s exactly what happened on Tues, Feb 4th around midnight on the streets of Yonge and College.
Oscar-winning director, I repeat, OSCAR! WINNING! DIRECTOR! Guillermo Del Toro was filming his new movie called Nightmare Alley out on the streets between Yonge-College and Yonge-Gerrard. Del Toro won two oscars for Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and The Shape of Water (2017) and is not slowing down anytime soon. His new movie features Hollywood A-listers: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Bradley Cooper, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, and David Strathairn. Del Toro directed a scene with Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and a bunch of extras dressed in 1940s attire right outside of College Park. There was a flurry of fake snow falling in the scene and about a dozen retro cars out. The movie is based on the novel by William Lindsay Gresham, and it will be a modern adaptation of the 1947 film.
The official synopsis from Searchlight Pictures reads:
“In ‘Nightmare Alley’, an ambitious young carny (Cooper) with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words hooks up with a female psychiatrist (Blanchett) who is even more dangerous than he is. The carnival cast includes carnival worker Molly (Mara), head barker Clem (Willem Dafoe), and Ron Perlman as bruno the Strongman. Richard Jenkins is part of the high society crowd as wealthy industrialist Ezra Grindle.”
Thankfully I was out past midnight and passed the movie set while they were rehearsing and later shooting the real scene! Hearing Del Toro shout “Action” is something I will never forget. The streets of Toronto are chalk full of magic and movie-stars. I snapped some exclusive photos for you to check out below!
Luckily for you, there is still a chance to see the star-studded cast filming around Toronto until May 5. Head to What’s Filming? to see more movies/TV shows filming in Toronto. I can’t wait to see Nightmare Alley!