No, it’s not an X-Men spin-off film featuring mutant teleporter Kurt Wagner (though that would be pretty awesome). And despite its Halloween release date, it’s not a horror film. But actor Jake Gyllenhaal certainly brings the creepy to screenwriter Dan Gilroy’s directorial debut in the LA-shot Nightcrawler.
Gyllenhaal plays a sleazy, ambulance-chasing, freelance crime photographer whose ambition gets way out of hand, making him a part of the very crimes he covers. The always welcome Rene Russo (Gilroy’s wife of twenty-two years) co-stars as Gyllenhaal’s boss/client, along with Riz Ahmed as his driver/sidekick and the ever-versatile Bill Paxton. But Nightcrawler is clearly Gyllenhaal’s show. The trailer below sees him shedding his innocent-guy image to an extent we haven’t seen before, with hair slicked back, a smile too wide to be trusted, and the light of madness shining in his eyes.
Given its title, I can’t imagine the number of drunk teenagers who will stumble into Nightcrawler this October 31st looking for a cheap scare. But if this trailer serves as any indication, filmgoers might leave theaters far more traumatized than they would be by the average thriller. Gyllenhaal reportedly lost twenty pounds (and presumably invested in a truckload of hair gel) to attain the hungry, wolvish look he sports in the film. The results are effective to say the least.
Open Road Films has Nightcrawler slated to debut in the Special Presentations section of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival in September.
What do you think — are we about to see Gyllenhaal take his career to the next level? Let us know in the comments section below.