Guillermo Del Toro is busy at work with a number of projects at the moment, but one in particular seems to be shaping up as particularly interesting especially in regards to the big names attached to star in the film, and that is ‘The Shape of Water.’ The 1963 set drama’s plot is mostly secret at this point in time, but we know that the cult favorite director has cast Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones and Octavia Spencer, all of whom are phenomenal at their work and make me think this movie might be something very special indeed.
During a recent conversation, Doug Jones spoke about the work he was doing for Del Toro on ‘The Shape of Water,’ as he is playing a fish-man creature, which of course led to a lot of questions about what exactly the movie is about:
“It’s a 1963 drama—it’s not a sci-fi [film], it’s not a genre film, but I am a creature in it. 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. And I’m being studied and tested in a U.S. government facility in 1963, so the Russian Cold War is on, the race for space is on, so there’s all that backdrop and that undercurrent. 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. Meanwhile, there’s a love story that brews out of it, and that would be the cleaning lady played by Sally Hawkins. She comes and finds me, has sympathy on me, and then that’s the story that you’re really gonna follow with this whole backdrop. 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.”
Sorry, Mr. Jones, but anything that has a “fish man” in it is going to be classified as science fiction. Still, it sounds like he is saying the film is not going to be focusing on the sci-fi elements, but on the more dramatic and human elements, which will be exciting to see from Del Toro as he does sci-fi and fantasy and special effects well, but he also manages to capture emotion and drama very well and does not often focus on it. If indeed the crux of the film is a love story, then this will be something very different for Del Toro and I am intrigued enough to look forward to seeing it when it eventually gets released.
Nick is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles, who belongs to the privileged few who enjoyed the ending to ‘Lost.’ For more of Nick’s thoughts and articles, follow him on Twitter.