the shape of water creature

Until The Shape of Water begins floating into theaters next month, the details of the mysterious fish creature and romantic interest at the center of Guillermo del Toro‘s film will remain mostly in the depths of the acclaimed filmmaker’s mind.

But the sexy fish man played by Doug Jones is steadily emerging from the black lagoon of del Toro’s imagination in the form of the filmmaker’s tweets, where he explained (in amazing detail) how this creature was designed.

If you haven’t already followed del Toro on social media for his wry cinematic observations or adorable retweets of fan art, then you’re missing out on a world of whimsy. It’s the closest you’ll get to taking a peek inside the director’s mind, even more so when he decides to tweet behind-the-scenes details of the making of his characters.

del Toro shared doodles from his diary and technical insights into the design of Jones’ fish creature, which del Toro has described as “part Silver Surfer” and “part matador.”

The attention that del Toro has lavished upon every visual aspect of the film is astonishing — and indicative of the kind of filmmaker he is. All of del Toro’s movies have a baroque quality to them, blending the surreal and the real. It seems like The Shape of Water is no exception. It’s too bad that even a successful director like del Toro is limited by budget in the design of the film (see the tweet about the “sun ray” pipes), but it makes his concept art all the more enjoyable to see.

Here’s the official synopsis for The Shape of Water:

Elisa is a mute, isolated woman who works as a cleaning lady in a hidden, high-security government laboratory in 1962 Baltimore. Her life changes forever when she discovers the lab’s classified secret — a mysterious, scaled creature from South America that lives in a water tank. As Elisa develops a unique bond with her new friend, she soon learns that its fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist.

The Shape of Water stars Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Richard Jenkins. It is set to hit theaters on December 8, 2017.
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