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The Shape of Water Movie Poster

Trivia for The Shape of Water

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  • Both Sally Hawkins and Michael Stuhlbarg also appeared in Blue Jasmine (2013), but didn't share any scenes.
  • This will be Sally Hawkins' third film featuring magical realism, having previously appeared in Godzilla (2014) and Paddington (2014).
  • Set during a real-life war and featuring magical elements. This was also the premise for Guillermo del Toro's earlier film Pan's Labyrinth (2006).
  • Guillermo del Toro has worked on this film for several years, and developed it before he began production on Pacific Rim (2013). Eventually, he chose to direct this film instead of Pacific Rim Uprising (2018).
  • Filming took twelve weeks.
  • Doug Jones has said about The Shape of Water (2017): "...I played a creature in it, in a full rubber, you know, transformation from head to toe. ... Sally Hawkins is like the lead of the movie, and the one I had most of my scenes with."
  • Octavia Spencer said she "would have walked the Earth to work with" director Guillermo del Toro. She was so taken with the set and the many props that she asked Toro how many she was allowed to keep.
  • The theatrical poster was hand-drawn by Taiwanese artist James Jean.
  • The pieces of vinyl Elisa shows the creature are "The Great Benny Goodman" and "Glenn Miller Plays Selections from The Glenn Miller Story and Other Hits". Both were released in 1956.
  • This project marks the first time Guillermo del Toro has a female co-writer on his script.
  • Third collaboration between Guillermo del Toro and composer Alexandre Desplat, but their first film with Toro as the director. The composer previously provided the music for the del Toro produced animated movie Rise of the Guardians (2012) and is scoring some of the del Toro penned and produced animated series Trollhunters (2016).
  • After seeing the trailer, director Kevin Smith tweeted: 'Seeing something as beautiful as this makes me feel stupid for ever calling myself a "Director."'
  • Third collaboration between cinematographer Dan Laustsen and Guillermo del Toro. They previously worked on Mimic (1997) and Crimson Peak (2015).
  • As this is released in theaters the same year as Maudie (2016), it marks the first time Sally Hawkins has been the lead in two theatrical releases within the same year. In both films, she portrays a woman with a disability; In "Maudie" her character suffers from a result of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and in "Shape of Water" her character has a speech impediment.
  • The song featured in the first trailer is Serge Gainsbourg's "La Javanaise", sung by Madeleine Peyroux.
  • Doug Jones also played Abe Sapien in both Hellboy movies . The creatures in Shape of Water and Hellboy are Ichthysapians, meaning fish people . And apparently both enjoy hard boiled eggs .
  • It took over nine months to arrive at the look of the creature, and del Toro calls it the most difficult movie he and his team have ever designed.
  • A series of photos depicting artist James Jean's progress on the poster artwork can be found on his Instagram page. On two such photographs, reference photos of the creature can be seen in the corner, presumably unreleased stills from the actual movie.
  • Despite visual similarities, Guillermo del Toro has denied that this film has any connections to Hellboy (2004).
  • When she was offered the lead role in this film, Sally Hawkins herself was working on a script for a short film about a woman who turns into a fish.
  • Guillermo del Toro first met Sally Hawkins at the 2014 Golden Globes, and pitched the film to her while being intoxicated; "I was drunk and it's not a movie that makes you sound less drunk".
  • Most of the characters were written with the actors in mind. Octavia Spencer said her character was reminiscent of a collaboration between her roles in The Help (2011) and Hidden Figures (2016), and that she "would have played the desk if Guillermo del Toro had asked me to".
  • Composer Alexandre Desplat does the whistling that features in the soundtrack. Guillermo del Toro wanted the score to feature whistling because it contrasted how many scenes of the film feature water.
  • Won "The Golden Lion" at the 2017 Venice Film Festival.
  • The first English-language movie to win the main award, The Golden Lion, at The Venice Film Festival, since Somewhere (2010).
  • Richard Jenkins's character was originally written for Ian McKellen.
  • Guillermo del Toro originally wanted to shoot the film in black and white, but decided against it, due to budget restraints.
  • Guillermo del Toro began working on the film in 2011. He self-financed a crew that designed both the creature and the lab.
  • Sally Hawkins researched Charles Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Buster Keaton and Audrey Hepburn for her part. Guillermo del Toro bought her a Blu-ray collection featuring the performers prior to filming.
  • Doug Jones spent three hours every day getting into the costume. According to him, it was nothing compared to previous costumes he has worn in other films by Guillermo del Toro.
  • Both Michael Shannon and Michael Stuhlbarg also starred in HBO's Boardwalk Empire (2010).
  • Guillermo del Toro said about Sally Hawkins, "Not only was she the first choice, she was the only choice. I wrote the movie for Sally, I wrote the movie for Michael [Shannon]... Sally is, I wanted the character of Elisa to be beautiful, in her own way, not in a way that is like a perfume commercial kind of way. That you could believe that this character, this woman would be sitting next to you on the bus. But at the same time she would have a luminosity, a beauty, almost magical, ethereal."


  • Prequel of Hellboy about Abraham Sapien.
  • The idea originated when Guillermo del Toro had seen King Kong (1933), Dracula (1931) and Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and decided it was time for the creature to "get the girl".
  • One of the Octavia Spencer's favorite things about the screenplay was the fact that by letting the main couple be mute, most of the dialogue comes from a black woman and a closeted gay man. In real life, they would both have experienced suppression during the 1960s setting of the film.
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