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The Shape of Water: all the trailers, interviews, and commentary for Guillermo del Toro’s new fantasy fairy tale

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Guillermo del Toro is responsible for a number of utterly gorgeous genre films, including Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak, The Devil’s Backbone, and even Pacific Rim. His next film looks to be just as lush. The Shape of Water is a Cold War fairy tale about a mysterious, aquatic creature and the mute woman who rescues it from the government agents that have captured it for study.

The film premiered earlier this year at the Toronto International Film Festival, and will hit theaters on December 8th. Follow along for all of the new, trailers, interviews, and commentary for the film.

  • Tasha Robinson

    Dec 7, 2017

    Tasha Robinson

    Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is the year’s most sentimental fish romance


    Welcome to Cheat Sheet, our brief breakdown-style reviews of festival films, VR previews, and other special event releases. This review originally appeared on the site in September, in conjunction with the film’s opening at the Toronto International Film Festival. It has been updated for the film’s theatrical release.

    Writer-director Guillermo del Toro has always been fascinated by ghosts. Sometimes those ghosts are literal — in his movies Crimson Peak and The Devil’s Backbone, they’re the shades of the dead, actively seeking vengeance against those who wronged them. In other films, like his Hellboy movies or Pacific Rim, the ghosts are more metaphorical: representations of unfinished business, traumas that haunt people, or family connections that won’t go away. In Pan’s Labyrinth, the past takes on multiple dangerous forms; in Cronos, it’s just one aging man. This is the theme that connects all of del Toro’s work: the way people carry the past around, and need to move past it to become complete people.

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  • Tasha Robinson

    Dec 6, 2017

    Tasha Robinson

    Michael Shannon explains how his name became a slang term on the Shape of Water shoot

    Photo by Kerry Hayes / 20th Century Fox

    Michael Shannon isn’t just a screen villain. He’s frequently played soulful, sympathetic heroes, particularly in the films of writer-director Jeff Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter, Midnight Special). His stage career, as an actor, director, and co-founder of Chicago’s Red Orchid Theatre, has let him take on a wide variety of characters, like the embattled, disintegrating romantic lead in the stage and film version of Tracy Letts’ grueling Bug. And he’s been nominated twice for Best Supporting Actor Oscars, in both cases for sympathetic parts: as a mentally ill man in Revolutionary Road, and a fascinating detective in Nocturnal Animals

    But Shannon is an intense, fervent actor, and that makes his villain roles in films like Guillermo del Toro’s new horror / romance / fantasy The Shape of Water standout. Strickland, a government agent working behind the scenes to counter Russian space supremacy in the 1950s, is vehemently opposed to the kinds of creature-feature freaks of nature that often become the stars of del Toro films like Hellboy and Pan’s Labyrinth. Shannon plays Strickland as a disintegrating man (literally, at points) who’s laser-focused on enforcing a white, suburban, two-kids-and-a-dog vision of America, and doesn’t understand why it isn’t making him happy. Strickland is in keeping with some of Shannon’s other memorable villain roles — Prohibition agent Nelson Van Alden in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, legendary mob hitman Richard Kuklinski in 2013’s The Iceman, or Kryptonian antagonist General Zod in Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. The character has some depth and nuance, but that doesn’t make his intentions any less horrifying, or their execution any less unsettling.

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  • Nov 9, 2017

    Andrew Liptak

    Guillermo del Toro takes on the Cold War in the final trailer for The Shape of Water

    Guillermo del Toro went on Facebook earlier today to answer questions about his upcoming film The Shape of Water, and then surprised audiences by unveiling the film’s final trailer.

    The Shape of Water is a film set in the 1950s that follows a mute woman named Elisa (Sally Hawkins) who mops up floors at a facility that’s housing a strange aquatic creature. Michael Shannon plays Strickland, a man tasked with keeping an eye on the beast, who believes it is dangerous and not to be trusted. Elisa soon bonds with the creature, however, leading to a surprising relationship between the two. The film premiered earlier this year at the Toronto International Film Festival, where we found it to be a beautiful film, filled with del Toro’s own unique sentimentality.

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  • Lizzie Plaugic

    Sep 14, 2017

    Lizzie Plaugic

    The Shape of Water’s new trailer features angry scientists, a sea monster, and love


    The red band trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is here, and it gives us a deeper look at what the Cold War-era movie is actually about — at least, kind of.

    Sally Hawkins (Godzilla) stars as Elisa, a mute woman who works at some kind of test facility for deranged, secretive government experiments. She feeds eggs to a two-legged sea beast, and they fall in love. Elisa’s friend Zelda (played by Octavia Spencer) helps Elisa smuggle the creature out of the facility, which they appear to do by shoving it in a pile of laundry. (You may remember this technique from the 1982 movie Annie, when Annie escapes the orphanage.)

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  • Kaitlyn Tiffany

    Jul 19, 2017

    Kaitlyn Tiffany

    Watch the first trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War-era monster movie

    The first trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is here, and it shows the director going back to his dark fantasy roots. The trailer starts with voiceover, asking, “If I were to tell you about her, the Princess Without Voice, what would I say?”

    The narrator seems to refer to Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute woman who works with her friend Zelda (Octavia Spencer) at a Cold War-era government facility. She stumbles upon some kind of Amazonian aquaman creature in one of the labs and develops an intimate friendship with it, much to the fury of a supervisor (played by Michael Shannon!), who does not understand sign language and appears to love yelling.

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  • Apr 19, 2017

    Andrew Liptak

    Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water now has a release date

    'Five Came Back' World Premiere
    Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

    It seems as though Guillermo del Toro is constantly attached to a ton of projects, but his next film, The Shape of Water, now has a release date: December 8th, 2017, right in the middle the Hollywood’s award nomination season.

    Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, The Shape of Water is described as “an other-worldly fairy tale,” which follows Elisa (Sally Hawkins,) who works at a top-secret government laboratory. There, she and a co-worker (Octavia Spencer) discovers a classified experiment in the form of an “aquatic man,” played by Doug Jones.

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