Guillermo del Toro has been directing movies since 1986 with his first short film Doña Lupe. Many were familiar with his horror films in the 1990s but it wasn’t until 2006 Pan’s Labyrinth that made him a household name.
Nightmare Alley is his new cinematic venture with an all-star cast including Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, and Rooney Mara. Believe it not, his newest film contains a call back to his 1997 English language debut film Mimic.
In an interview with /Film, art director Tamara Deverell worked on Mimic and came to collaborate again on Nightmare alley and she revealed served as the production designer on del Toro’s vampire series The Strain (which he co-created with Chuck Hogan) in the 2010s and reunited with del Toro yet again on “Nightmare Alley.” What’s more, the noir drama even includes an easter egg commemorating their efforts on Mimic in the form of a “Jesus Saves” neon sign that shows up at one point.
“The ‘Jesus Saves’ neon that we built was actually a little bit of an Easter egg. Years ago, I worked with Guillermo on a movie called Mimic. We built that same cross, that same ‘Jesus Saves,’ very similar. It played where this priest is running away from the creature monster and falls with this big neon sign in the background. When Guillermo said, ‘Let’s do that sign again,’ I was like, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe I’m designing and building that sign again.’ It was fun to do it again.”
Guillermo del Toro has gone on record stating how his experience on Mimic was horrific due to dealing with producer Harvey Weinstein. He could have left the business then but he stuck it out and is now one of the biggest directors/producers in Hollywood.