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Guillermo del Toro has tackled 1940s Spain with Pan’s Labyrinth, futuristic Earth with Pacific Rim, and gothic 19th-century England with Crimson Peak. Now, he’s turning his eye to Cold War America in 1963 with his next mysterious project: The Shape of Water.

Fox Searchlight Pictures announced Monday that del Toro has started principal photography on The Shape of Water, starring Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Michael Stuhlbarg, and Octavia Spencer. In addition to directing, del Toro is co-writing the script with Game of Thrones and Divergent scribe Vanessa Taylor.

“I started working on The Shape of Water right around the time we moved to Toronto for Pacific Rim,” del Toro said in a statement. “Working with Fox Searchlight and being supported by this beautiful group of actors and artists, I feel extremely blessed and brave.”

The movie’s plot is being kept under wraps, but Fox Searchlight is billing it as “a mysterious and magical journey” and “an other-worldly story set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963.” In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last month, del Toro did reveal that the plot focuses on a mysterious creature, played by Jones.

“It’s a very personal movie,” del Toro told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

Production on The Shape of Water is now under way in Toronto, with del Toro and J.J. Miles Dale (Scott Pilgrim vs. The World) producing.

The Shape of Water
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