Guillermo del Toro The Shape of Water

I’m excited about all of the project that filmmaker Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Pacific Rim) is developing but I never believe any of them are actually going to happen until the first day of filming begins. That day has come for his cold war fantasy film The Shape Of Water, which begins principal photography today in Toronto Canada. Learn more about The Shape of Water, after the jump.

The Shape of Water is officially described as “A mysterious and magical journey from Guillermo del Toro”:

“An other-worldly story, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963.”

Sounds about right, but why should you be excited outside of del Toro’s involvement? In a previous interview with THR, the visionary filmmaker enthused about returning to lower budget films:

What was important was to draw back to a smaller budget with more freedom. Since 1997 I haven’t had censorship problems at all. But with great budget comes great responsibility. This is the same scale, exactly, as Pan’s Labyrinth and I wanted to feel the same freedom where I could try to tell the story with whatever emotional logic I want to follow. It’s a very personal movie. My view of the creature is very personal. We have spent nine months creating and designing this creature, which is the longest time I’ve spent, ever, designing any creature, and I’m very much in awe of it.

As much as I enjoyed Pacific Rim, I’m excited to see del Toro return to smaller more personal stories of horror like this one. Co-written with Vanessa Taylor (Game of Thrones, Divergent), the film stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg and Octavia Spencer. Jones plays the creature. The film will be released by Fox Searchlight in 2017, likely later in the year. The official press release follows below:

DIRECTOR GUILLERMO DEL TORO BEGINS PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY ON “THE SHAPE OF WATER”

Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg and Octavia Spencer to Star

Los Angeles, CA, August 15, 2016 – Fox Searchlight Pictures’ Presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley announced that principal photography on THE SHAPE OF WATER began today in Toronto, Canada. The film stars Academy Award nominee Sally Hawkins (BLUE JASMINE, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY), Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon (REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, 99 HOMES), Academy Award nominee Richard Jenkins (THE VISITOR, “Olive Kitteridge”), Doug Jones (CRIMSON PEAK, HELLBOY), Golden Globe nominee Michael Stuhlbarg (A SERIOUS MAN, STEVE JOBS) and Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer (THE HELP, GIFTED). Academy Award nominated Guillermo del Toro (PAN’S LABYRINTH, CRIMSON PEAK) will direct and co-write with Vanessa Taylor (“Game of Thrones,” DIVERGENT). The film is being produced by del Toro and J. Miles Dale (THE VOW, SCOTT PILGRIM VS. THE WORLD).

“I started working on THE SHAPE OF WATER right around the time we moved to Toronto for PACIFIC RIM. Working with Fox Searchlight and being supported by this beautiful group of actors and artists, I feel extremely blessed and brave,” says writer/director del Toro.

“It feels like we have an embarrassment of riches on this film. An ensemble of incredible actors who are working at the very top of their craft, a wildly original story from Guillermo’s one-of-a-kind mind, and the brilliant team at Fox Searchlight to shepherd us along. We’re all very excited to see how far we can take it,” says producer Dale.

“We are thrilled to be working with Guillermo del Toro as he is the ultimate visionary director. He has brought together an amazingly talented cast to bring this brilliant and unique story to life,” said Utley and Gilula.

THE SHAPE OF WATER is an other-worldly story, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963. A mysterious and magical journey from Guillermo del Toro. The film stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg and Octavia Spencer.

Joining del Toro on the film are long time collaborators costume designer Luis Sequeira (THE STRAIN, MAMA, CARRIE), director of photography Dan Laustsen – (JOHN WICK: CHAPTER TWO, CRIMSON PEAK, MIMIC), visual effects supervisor Dennis Berardi (CRIMSON PEAK, MAMA, FIGHT CLUB) and editor Sidney Wolinsky (“The Strain,” “House of Cards,” “The Sopranos”). New to the team is production designer Paul Austerberry (THE TWILIGHT SAGA: ECLIPSE, POMPEII). Co-Heads of Production David Greenbaum and Matthew Greenfield and Vice President of Production DanTram Nguyen are overseeing the project for Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Fox Searchlight Pictures is a specialty film company that both finances and acquires motion pictures. It has its own marketing and distribution operations, and the films are distributed internationally by Twentieth Century Fox. Fox Searchlight Pictures is a unit of 21st Century Fox.

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