Mike Calabro is here with a look at Guillermo del Toro’s lifelong obsession with humanoid fish creatures, and how ‘The Shape of Water’ is the culmination of del Toro’s decades-long dream.
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The Shape of Water 2017 is shaping up to be one of Guillermo del Toro’s finest movies yet. But Guillermo del Toro The Shape of Water isn’t the director’s first attempt at an aquatic humanoid fish-man. There have been plenty of Guillermo del Toro monsters throughout the years, but he’s always had a fascination with the Creature from the Black Lagoon and it’s star, the gill-man. The gillman was a revolutionary step forward in special effects for 1954, and monster movies would never be the same. As a boy in Mexico, Guillermo del Toro couldn’t understand why the Creature from the Black Lagoon never ended up with the girl at the end. He wanted the monster to have a happy ending, but first he’d have to become one of cinema’s new masters of horror. He got his first chance with Hellboy, starring Doug Jones as a sentient merman named Abe Sapien. The state-of-the-art Abe Sapien makeup was ahead of its time, and it got even better for the sequel, Hellboy 2 The Golden Army, also by Guillermo del Toro. Doug Jones was the perfect actor to play Guillermo del Toro monsters, and not just because he fit into the suit. He brought real charisma and acting skill to every character he played, even the terrifying Pan’s Labyrinth Pale Man.
But now, David Harbour Hellboy 3 is no longer in Guillermo del Toro’s hands, and the Universal monsters Dark Universe looks dead in the water, so we’re probably not getting the Creature from the Black Lagoon remake anytime soon. So, like always, Guillermo del Toro carved his own path, and created a brand new monster for The Shape of Water: The asset. Also played by Doug Jones, the Asset is a different kind of fish monster, and he’s a perfect foil for the case of The Shape of Water. Doug Jones The Shape of Water, Sally Jenkins The Shape of Water, Michael Shannon The Shape of Water, and the rest of The Shape of Water cast are creating a modern fairy-tale set during the Cold War. The Asset Abe Sapien, the Asset Creature From the Black Lagoon, the Asset the Gill-man, none of them are the same creature. Guillermo del Toro Doug Jones brought a new take to the newly designed character, and while he might not be the Creature from the Black Lagoon that Guillermo del Toro is in love with, The Shape of Water the Asset is the next best thing.
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