Guillermo del Toro's new film inspired by Creature from the Black Lagoon

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 11 October 2017
Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro

Guillermo del Toro has admitted he was inspired to make 'The Shape of Water' by 1954 Universal monster movie 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' as he always wanted the character Kay Lawrence and the creature, Gill-Man, to get together in the classic Universal film

Guillermo del Toro's latest fantasy film 'The Shape of Water' was inspired by 'Creature from the Black Lagoon'.

The 53-year-old Mexican filmmaker was obsessed with the classic 1954 Universal monster movie as a child but unlike most viewers he always wanted Julie Adams' character Kay Lawrence to get together with the creature, known as Gill-Man.

'Creature from the Black Lagoon' tells the story of a group of scientists who disturb a strange amphibious prehistoric beast lurking in the depths of the Amazonian jungle who they want to capture.

The creature - known as Gill-Man - embarks on a murder spree and attempts to kidnap Kay after falling in love with her but is repeatedly shot and fought off by the film's heroes.

Speaking exclusively to BANG Showbiz at a BFI London Film Festival screening of the movie at the Odeon Cinema in London's Leicester Square on Tuesday (10.10.17), del Toro said: "For me as a kid, at age six, I watched 'Creature from the Black Lagoon' and I always hoped they would get together. But that was impossible. So it has taken 57 years to remedy that!"

'The Shape of Water' follows mute, isolated woman Elisa (Sally Hawkins) who works as a janitor in a government laboratory in 1962 but her life changes forever when she discovers the lab's classified secret is an amphibious creature known as The Asset (Doug Jones).

As Elisa develops a unique bond with The Asset she soon learns that its fate and very survival lies in the hands of a hostile government agent and a marine biologist.

The two lead characters never speak a word to each other over the course of the plot and del Toro's decision to do this was to emphasise that love is "not about words but emotion".

He said: "The two lead characters don't speak because love is not about words but about emotion and identifying an essence with the other and I thought it would be more powerful if they don't tell each other 'I love you' or 'How was your day?'

"Instead it was a real connection. The only way to talk about love would be through singing and there's a beautiful sequence in the movie which is a musical number where she gets to sing and all these things are related and I think that everything has been planned."

The Shape of Water

  • 5 stars
  • 2017
  • US
  • 1h 59min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Guillermo del Toro
  • Cast: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Lauren Lee Smith, Michael Stuhlbarg, Octavia Spencer
  • UK release: 16 February 2018

In 1962 Baltimore, Eliza (Hawkins) is a mute who works as a cleaner in a secret government facility alongside the chatty Zelda (Spencer); there she makes a connection with a mysterious monster (Jones). A wondrous tale of underwater love, with an apt and refreshing approach to female sexuality; from screenplay through…


1. Beatrice McClain20 Oct 2019, 1:51am Report

The Shape of Water was ok. ...but the Creature rules!

Post a comment

RSS feed of these comments