Fox Searchlight has officially announced a release date for Guillermo Del Toro’s forthcoming period romance The Shape of Water. The film – which stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Doug Jones and Oscar winner Octavia Spencer – is the latest from the Pan’s Labyrinth filmmaker; Del Toro penned the original screenplay alongside Vanessa Taylor (Hope Springs). The film will bow in North American theaters on December 8th.
Described as “an other-wordly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963,” The Shape of Water takes place in an isolated government facility where a lonely woman (Hawkins) finds herself forever changed by a top secret experiment in the form of an “aquatic man” (played by Jones). Richard Jenkins (The Visitor) and Michael Stuhlbarg (Steve Jobs) co-star.
Jones, in particular, is well-regarded for his prosthetic-heavy filmography that includes notable work in Del Toro’s Hellboy features, as well as his Oscar-winning Pan’s Labyrinth. Jones also made impressions as the Gentleman in an iconic “Hush” episode of Joss Whedon’s television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and for his portrayal of the Silver Surfer in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer.
Del Toro most recently directed the Gothic romance Crimson Peak (2015). Hawkins will soon appear in Maudie opposite Ethan Hawke; she received an Oscar nomination for her performance in Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine (2013), a film that won leading lady Cate Blanchett in her second Academy Award. Shannon earned an Oscar nomination earlier this year for his performance in Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals; he will also be seen in the period bio The Current War later this year. Spencer can currently be seen on screen opposite Chris Evans in Gifted; she received an Oscar nomination earlier this year for her role in the box office hit Hidden Figures, she won an Oscar for her supporting performance in The Help.
The Shape of Water opens in theaters on December 8th.