Guillermo Del Toro's Black And White Version Of Nightmare Alley Is Coming To Hulu Next Week

If you're one of the many film fans who didn't get a chance to see the black and white limited theatrical release of Guillermo del Toro's moody noir "Nightmare Alley," then boy do I have some good news for you. Starting Monday, April 25, 2022, you can stream this gorgeous-looking alternate version of the movie on Hulu.

"Nightmare Alley" tracks the rise of a conman named Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) as he plays a dangerous grift game against the backdrop of the carny scene of the 1930s. The film is a remake of a 1947 noir of the same name by director Edmund Goulding so it's easy to see why del Toro would be interested in crafting and releasing a black and white version of his richly colorful film. Noir is at its best when drenched in shadow, so it's fitting that del Toro's tale of betrayal, grifting, and murder gets the classic noir treatment.

This version was planned from the start

This wasn't a late-in-the-game decision from the Oscar-winning director. In fact, he planned that there would be a black and white version of the movie from the very beginning, a crucial step to ensuring the finished product looks its best. Some color films that undergo the black and white treatment don't feel authentic because the filmmaking process demands a different kind of art direction than color films do, which del Toro has spoken about in the past.

"I was production assistant in a movie with Gabriel Figueroa, who was the greatest Mexican cinematographer. He had a great kinship with Gregg Toland, they were good friends. He said to me when you art direct for black and white, you use the greens and the reds and the golds to give the mid-tones to do all the grey color. We decided to take that palette [on 'Nightmare Alley']."

As you can see, even the color version was made to service this black and white release, which seems to be the director's preferred way to watch the movie.

You better believe I'm going to fire this up next week when it hits Hulu. I wasn't able to see this version on the big screen and I'm still kicking myself for that. I already loved "Nightmare Alley," so a gorgeous black and white version — meticulously overseen by del Toro, by the way — is very much in my wheelhouse. "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "The Mist" were fun experiments, but by all accounts "Nightmare Alley" was made to be seen this way from the very beginning, and thanks to Hulu we'll be getting the chance to see it in all its noir glory.