I've always said that Guillermo del Toro's talents seem to be best-utilized in smaller films, with tighter budgets that force him to tap into his own ingenuity and creativity to really make them fly. His last two major studio outings, PACIFIC RIM and CRIMSON PEAK, were both greeted by slightly-above-average reviews and box office receipts that didn't exactly blow anyone away. His next film, though, is being made over at Fox Searchlight- which is Fox's indie-minded shingle. It's called THE SHAPE OF WATER, and it sounds like a return to PAN'S LABYRINTH territory for the Mexican filmmaker.
THE SHAPE OF WATER centers on a mute janitor, played by Oscar-nominated actress Sally Hawkins (BLUE JASMINE), who falls in love with an amphibious man creature at the lab where she works. He's being held captive, and so she enlists the help of her neighbor to try to break the creature she loves out of the facility. In doing so, she exposes the creature to an outside world that may actually be worse for him than the captivity he was liberated from. The film is set in 1963, during the Cold War, and is said to be something of a fairytale.
Tracking-Board is reporting that another Academy Award-nominated actor is on the cusp of joining Hawkins in THE SHAPE OF WATER, and that would be Richard Jenkins. The veteran character actor, who garnered a ton of respect and praise for his work in 2007's THE VISITOR, has a resumé that goes back to 1974. He's perhaps best known for his work on TV shows like SIX FEET UNDER and films like CABIN IN THE WOODS and STEP BROTHERS. TB says Jenkins is circling the role of the aforementioned neighbor.
THE SHAPE OF WATER certainly sounds unique, and has a story that makes it seem more in line with the director's earlier work. Could be a return to form for del Toro.
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