Guillermo del Toro's films are renowned for their exceptionally beautiful designs and creative re-imaginings of themes within fantasy, horror and sci-fi genres. His upcoming movie, The Shape of Water, is receiving a lot of hype from fans and critics alike, and for good reason. Despite filming details being kept under wraps, The Shape of Water looks to be one of del Toro's best movies yet.
Here's a look at everything we know so far:
An Other-Worldly Fairy Tale
The official synopsis released by Fox Searchlight explains that The Shape of Water will be:
An other-wordly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of silence and isolation. Her life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.
The film clearly bears similarities to Pan's Labyrinth with both movies set during a war and featuring magical elements. In addition, #TheShapeofWater will also be a smaller, more intimate film. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, del Toro said:
"This is the same scale, exactly, as Pan’s Labyrinth and I wanted to feel the same freedom where I could try to tell the story with whatever emotional logic I want to follow. It’s a very personal movie. My view of the creature is very personal. We have spent nine months creating and designing this creature, which is the longest time I’ve spent, ever, designing any creature, and I’m very much in awe of it."
Sally Hawkins Is Starring
The acting talent in The Shape of Water is outstanding. Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones and Michael Stuhlbarg will all be starring in the movie. The main character is played by Sally Hawkins and will be a cleaning lady who works at the government facility. Octavia Spencer is playing Hawkins's co-worker, and there will be a romance involving Hawkins's character.
According to actor Doug Jones:
"[The] central character is Sally Hawkins who plays a very sympathetic character, a woman you’re just going to fall in love with. What she goes through…you’re going to be rooting for her every step. It’s a classic Del Toro movie where we root for an underdog in very impossible circumstances."
Del Toro Is Re-Partnering With Daniel Kraus
Guillermo del Toro previously partnered with Daniel Kraus to write the novel Trollhunters, which was turned into the Emmy Award-winning TV show on Netflix. The two collaborated again to come up with the idea behind The Shape of Water. Between Kraus's talent for writing and del Toro's gift for creativity, the concept is bound to be excellent.
Producer J Miles Dale said when shooting began:
“It feels like we have an embarrassment of riches on this film. An ensemble of incredible actors who are working at the very top of their craft, a wildly original story from Guillermo's one-of-a-kind mind, and the brilliant team at Fox Searchlight to shepherd us along. We’re all very excited to see how far we can take it."
Doug Jones Is Returning As A Fish Man
Doug Jones is known for playing monstrous creatures and will be bringing a fish creature to life in The Shape of Water. Jones has collaborated with del Toro in the past, and his many faces include Abe Sapien from Hellboy and the Pale Man and the Faun from Pan's Labyrinth. In an interview with Collider, Jones said of his character:
I’m a fish man that’s kind of a one-off. I’m an enigma, nobody knows where I came from; I’m the last of my species so I’m like a natural anomaly...I’m being tested for how can they use me for advantages in military or space travel, or my technology—can we make this usable for humans? So they’re trying to keep me a secret from the Russians.
Oscar-Friendly Release Date
The Shape of Water received a December 8 release, which could mean the movie is attempting to gain recognition during the awards season. Currently, the first and only film by Guillermo del Toro to be nominated for an Academy Award is Pan's Labyrinth, which earned six Oscar nominations and won for Best Cinematography, Best Production Design and Best Makeup.
According to Doug Jones, seeing The Shape of Water at the Oscars is very likely:
“It is artfully and beautifully [made]—if this doesn’t end up with Guillermo back at the Oscars, I will be surprised. I will be very surprised.”
Also like Pan's Labyrinth, and most of del Toro's non-blockbuster movies, The Shape of Water received an R-rating from the MPAA. It seems likely that a trailer will soon be released, and hopefully it will answer all remaining questions about the movie.
Excited for The Shape of Water? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!