“If I told you about her—the princess without voice—what would I say?” So opens the gorgeous new trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming Cold War-set fantasy film, The Shape of Water. Fans of the Mexican director will be happy to know that after tackling comic book sequels (Hellboy II: The Golden Army), clanking blockbusters (Pacific Rim), and gothic tales (Crimson Peak), del Toro seems to be in full Pan’s Labyrinth mode again.
Guiding us through an underwater house where a woman hovers above a couch sleeping soundly, the trailer soon introduces us to Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a lonely mute woman who’s tasked with cleaning a super hidden high-security U.S. government laboratory in 1963. There, she meets…well, we’re not sure if he (or it?) has a name. All we know is the being – a classic del Toro monster – lives underwater and is kept against its will in this government facility. And, like the Pale Man in Pan’s Labyrinth and Abe Sapien in the Hellboy films, this fin-riddled creature is played by Doug Jones. Del Toro has no trouble signing on A-list talent, and the film also co-stars Oscar winner Octavia Spencer, and nominees Michael Shannon and Richard Jenkins.
The trailer, scored by a loving rendition of “La Javanaise,” offers us a look at Elisa’s drab world coming alive as she develops a connection with this water creature – teaching him how to speak sign-language, how to enjoy music, and maybe, how to escape his current situation. Giving us Beauty and the Beast meets The Creature of the Black Lagoon with a hint of X-Files, The Shape of Water really looks unlike anything else coming our way. Which is to say, it feels quintessentially like another inventive fairy tale that only del Toro could conjure.
Check out the full trailer below and let every breathtaking shot make you wish it were December already.
The Shape of Water premieres December 8, 2017 in U.S. cinemas