There was a time when Jake Gyllenhaal seemed to be in the mix to play every square-jawed comic-book superhero. Nightcrawler is a character from Marvel’s X-Men universe, but Gyllenhaal’s Nightcrawler, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival and opens in theaters on Oct. 31, continues the actor’s recent dalliance with the dark side.
Following in the wake of the murky End of Watch, Prisoners, and Enemy, Nightcrawler is the story of Lou Bloom, a low-level crook who stumbles upon a career perfectly suited to his nature: videotaping fresh crime scenes and selling the footage to the evening news. Before you can say “This Just In,” Lou is chasing the bloodiest news, a ghoulish shadow part Weegee and part Rupert Pupkin. Lou almost seems normal—until you look closely behind his oily and unblinking mask.
In this exclusive clip from the film, he gets some advice from Rene Russo’s news director, who says the perfect footage is “a screaming woman running down the street with her throat cut.”