Guillermo del Toro Aquatic Fantasy The Shape of Water To Tap Into Cold War Tensions

Guillermo del Toro doesn't do convention. Just take a glimpse at his history as a filmmaker and it would be obvious that he is out to make something entirely unique. If not a little bit strange and wacky. From Mimic, The Devil's Bone to Pan's Labyrinth and even big budget Hollywood flicks like Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Pacific Rim, there is a classic signature of del Toro over all of them.

Now the director is in the middle of following these pieces of work with The Shape of Water, a fantasy adventure movie set in the Cold War of 1963. The protagonist is a man is held captive in a government facility where he is being tested against his will. Starring Michael Shannon, Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins and Doug Jones, production ceased shooting on November 6 in hopes of debuting sometime this year.

Don't Call It Sci-Fi: Jones

56-year old Doug Jones has had a number of interesting roles to tackle in his acting career to date. But none so as this one to play an aquatic creature in blue. A regular for del Toro pictures, Jones talked to Collider about what the film is about.

“It’s a 1963 drama—it’s not a sci-fi (film), it’s not a genre film, but I am a creature in it," argued Jones. "I’m a fish man that’s kind of a one-off. I’m an enigma, nobody knows where I came from; the last of my species so I’m like a natural anomaly. And I’m being studied and tested in a U.S. government facility in 1963, so the Russian Cold War is on, the race for space is on, so there’s all that backdrop and that undercurrent."

Multi-Layered Narrative An Insight Into Time of Fear

While this would make the government out to be the bad guys on the surface, Jones admits there is more to the story.

"I’m being tested for how can they use me for advantages in military or space travel, or my technology. Can we make this usable for humans? So they’re trying to keep me a secret from the Russians.”

This follows in the same vein as movies like The Hunt for Red October, Red Dawn and Thirteen Days. All of which used the Cold War as a backdrop to examine what impact the threat of Russian nuclear war would have on American life and values. There are overlapping themes with current day relations. And it will be interesting to see how del Toro uses the feature to create a new twist to a timeless tale.

Source: Collider

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