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Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Shape of Water’ Trailer Breakdown: Sally Hawkins Befriends Doug Jones’ Man-Fish in Gorgeous Fairy Tale

The film, opening on December 8, stars Jones as an underwater creature similar in appearance to Abe Sapien from "Hellboy."

Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro

StarPix/For Ne/REX/Shutterstock

Fox Searchlight Pictures hasn’t released the trailer for Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” online just yet, but IndieWire caught the two-and-a-half minute teaser on the big screen on Friday, and can confirm that the “fairy tale” starring Doug Jones as a man-fish looks as magical and otherworldly as anything del Toro has ever made.

Set in Cold War–era America circa 1963, the film stars Sally Hawkins as “Elisa,” a mute cleaning lady in a government lab who develops a kinship with Jones’ amphibious-looking creature (who bears a striking resemblance to Abe Sapien from the “Hellboy” series). The entire film seems to be cast in the gorgeous blue-green hue that can be seen on the movie’s teaser poster.

The Shape of Water

“The Shape of Water”

Fox Searchlight Pictures

“If I told you about her — the princess without a voice — what would I say?” voice-over from a narrator asks at the beginning of the trailer, which features the beautifully evocative song “La Javanaise” by jazz and blues singer-songwriter Madeleine Peyroux.

Scientists are studying Jones’ character as part of a classified experiment, but the creature’s life seems to be in danger. “We need to take it apart and learn how it works,” Michael Shannon’s Strickland says in the trailer, despite opposition from at least one of his colleagues. “This may very well be the most sensitive asset to ever be housed in this facility,” a man says. “I don’t want an intricate, beautiful thing destroyed.”

Elisa’s interactions with the creature are much more personal. “When he looks at me, he doesn’t know how I am incomplete,” she says through sign language translated by Richard Jenkins. “He sees me as I am.”

The rest of the cast includes Octavia Spencer as one of Elisa’s co-workers, Michael Stuhlbarg and Lauren Lee Smith. “The Shape of Water” hits theaters on December 8, 2017.

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