‘The Shape of Water’ Trailer: A Magical Cold War Romance

The Shape of Water trailer still - Sally Hawkins and Doug Jones

At long last, The Shape of Water trailer has finally arrived online after debuting in front of War for the Planet of the Apes!

The Shape of Water is director and co-writer Guillermo del Toro’s eagerly-anticipated next film, and his first project after 2015’s Crimson Peak. Set during the early years of the Cold War (1963, specifically), the film follows Eliza (Sally Hawkins), a mute cleaner at a military facility, who discovers and forms a bond with an aquatic humanoid (Doug Jones) being held captive by higher-ups who want to experiment on the being. Well, one higher-up anyway – Strickland (Michael Shannon).

While it’s an intriguing first trailer, something doesn’t quite sit with me or click. Maybe it’s the use of Madeleine Peyroux’s cover of Serge Gainsbourg’s “La Javanaise” near the end of the trailer, or how the trailer is cut, or the magical realism mixed with the Cold War setting. It’s not quite selling me on the film, unlike del Toro’s projects within the last decade or so (Crimson Peak, Pacific Rim, Hellboy, and Pan’s Labyrinth). Either way, it’s a Guillermo del Toro film, and I’m eagerly anticipating it nonetheless.

The cast of The Shape of Water also includes Octavia Spencer as Zelda (a co-worker), Michael Stuhlbarg as a facility scientist, and Richard Jenkins as Giles (Eliza’s neighbor). Behind the camera, del Toro’s regulars include cinematographer Dan Laustsen, composer Alexandre Desplat, and editor Sidney Wolinsky, and del Toro brought Vanessa Taylor in to co-write the script.

The Shape of Water hits theaters on December 8, 2017.