Guillermo del Toro’s next film The Shape Of Water unveiled

Director Guillermo del Toro’s latest project is The Shape Of Water – a romantic fantasy set in the Cold War era…

Any film by Guillermo del Toro is worth seeing, but it’s the smaller-scale, fantastical dramas that have long excited us the most. From his feature debut Cronos to The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, they display an unmistakeable level of passion and craft.

We’re excited to learn, then, that his next feature is an original project with distinct echoes of those earlier movies. As uncovered by The Tracking Board, it’s reportedly called The Shape Of Water, and like The Devil’s Backbone and Pan’s Labyrinth, sets an imaginative plot against a real-world period backdrop.

The story will take place in 1963, the era of the Cold War, the Vietnam conflict and the civil rights movement. Sally Hawkins will star as Elisa, a janitor working at a laboratory where an “amphibious man” has been captured and is, presumably, being experimented on. Elisa falls for the creature, and eventually calls on her neighbour (who may be played by Six Feet Underand The Visitor‘s Richard Jenkins if the deal’s struck) to help her stage a rescue attempt.

The Shape Of Water is being produced by Fox Searchlight, so we’ll likely be in for a much smaller, less lavish movie than, say, the $55m Crimson Peak – though this is by no means a bad thing. As del Toro’s earlier films have proved, his more intimate projects are never less than magical.