Guillermo Del Toro is one of Hollywood’s true iconoclasts, making large-scale fantasy and genre films that are uniquely his. Though his bid to make a third Hellboy film ran aground — the series will return to theaters via a reboot with which he’s uninvolved — he’ll be back this winter with a new movie. The Shape of Water is a Cold War-era fantasy romance starring Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon. Now, we have our first look at the eagerly anticipated effort, courtesy of its new trailer (watch it above), which shows Del Toro will be striving for a peculiar fairy-tale vibe for his latest.
The Shape of Water presents a mute woman (Hawkins) — referred to in voiceover as a “princess” — who works in a subterranean government facility that’s housing, among other things, an aquatic sea creature (Doug Jones) with a fondness for eggs. Their budding bond is an unconventionally amorous one, complicated by the presence of the woman’s boss (Shannon), who’s more interested in experimenting on the fantastical being than allowing it to develop a relationship with a human.
Del Toro fans will immediately be struck by the resemblance of Jones’ creature to Abe Sapien (one of his ancestors?); could The Shape of Water be some sort of origin story for that Hellboy character (or his gilled species)? One way or another, it appears to be yet another idiosyncratic work from the director, brought to life by a cast that includes Richard Jenkins, Lauren Lee Smith, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer. The Shape of Water hits theaters in the heart of awards season, on Dec. 8.
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