Crimson Peak and Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro often has several irons in the supernatural fire, though his fans are never 100% sure which in direction his storytelling senses are going to send him. In the wake of last year's Crimson Peak, the filmmaker has flirted with a Pinocchio adaptation, Pacific Rim 2 (which someone else will direct), and the ever-possible Hellboy 3. Now, instead of any of those, we're learning that Guillermo del Toro is moving forward on The Shape of Water, and he already has a ridiculously impressive ensemble in his hip pocket.
In a press release today announcing the start of principal photography, Fox Searchlight confirmed that The Shape of Water will be Guillermo del Toro's next picture. Co-written by Game of Thrones scribe Vanessa Taylor, the movie is being described as "an other-worldly story, set against the backdrop of Cold War-era America circa 1963." Beyond that, we don't know much beyond the movie's incredible cast, which is led by:
An Oscar nominee for Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine, Hawkins has been turning heads since playing the impossibly perky Poppy in 2008's Happy-Go-Lucky. IMDB says she'll be playing Elisa, but we don't know yet the true nature of the character.
General Zod, himself, will take a break from haunting Superman to possibly fight off spirits in Del Toro's next drama. OK, we don't know if The Shape of Water will involve ghosts, but given the director's penchant for the supernatural -- on display in movies like Crimson Peak and The Devil's Backbone -- then it's a safe gamble that there might be Cold War-era spirits on the screen with which Shannon will have to contend.
From the Character Actor Hall of Fame, we borrow Richard Jenkins, a brilliant performer whose previous credits range from the Oscar worthy (2007's The Visitor) to the insane (Will Ferrell's Step-Brothers). Jenkins was recently spotted in the genre exercise Bone Tomahawk, and will be part of the upcoming LBJ, starring Woody Harrelson and directed by Rob Reiner.
Doug Jones might be Guillermo del Toro's lucky charm, though every time they work together, the actor's usually buried under layers of prosthetics. After turns as Abe Sapien in the Hellboy movies, and a role in Pan's Labyrinth, Jones will return to Del Toro's team for an unspecified part in The Shape of Water. Either way, we're just happy he's part of this ensemble, even though there's a very good chance we won't see his face in the final film.
Our favorite role of Michael Stuhlbarg's remains A Serious Man, though he's been collecting parts in stellar ensembles over the years, from Trumbo and Seven Psychopaths to the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Basically, any cast can only improve by adding Stuhlbarg, so we feel better about The Shape of Water already.
Finally, Octavia Spencer continues to choose eclectic roles following her Oscar win for The Help. With the Divergent series sputtering to a close, Spencer is filling her time in the NASA historical drama Hidden Figures, and the Christian drama The Shack. What will her role in The Shape of Water involve? We can't wait to find out. The Shape of Water is eyeing a 2017 release date. We'll bring you the latest details as they arrive.