Just this past March, we reported that Guillermo del Toro had would be writing, directing, and producing an untitled Cold War drama with a supernatural twist for Fox Searchlight. Then, this week saw a rumor that GDT’s new film would be titled The Shape of Water, and was described as “a mysterious and magical journey set against the backdrop of Cold War-era America circa 1963 with an otherworldly love story at the center of it.” Octavia Spencer was signed on to star in an unspecified role.
Now, THR reports that Michael Shannon is in talks to star in the officially untitled picture in an equally mysterious role, though it’s rumored to be a villainous one. The plan is to shoot this summer and the casting process is, clearly, currently underway. Sally Hawkins, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Richard Jenkins, also star.
Here’s a decidedly unofficial synopsis for the as-of-yet untitled picture:
Set in 1963, centers around Elisa (Hawkins), a mute janitor working at a lab where an amphibious man is being held captive. When Elisa falls in love with the creature, she devises a plan to help him escape with the assistance of her neighbor (Jenkins). The world outside of the lab, however, may prove to be more dangerous for the amphibious man than Elisa could have anticipated.
Now, if this turns out to be true, it sounds like the idea was inspired by the often-isolated Abe Sapien in del Toro’s Hellboy movies. And while the THR write-up pegs Shannon as the villain, there’s maybe the slimmest of chances that his very odd “flipper hand” story had more to do with del Toro’s newest project than his role for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. But then, that wouldn’t make him the villain, but rather the romantic lead. I’m gonna go ahead and guess that neither claim holds water, pun intended. While the proposed title would certainly be a poetic and beautiful one fitting with del Toro’s signature style, we’ll be waiting for more official notice before we can consider anything confirmed.