Guillermo del Toro is no stranger to crafting allegorical fantasy genre tales to please viewers of all ages. His upcoming film The Shape of Water is shaping up to be another memorable piece of storytelling from the director of such contemporary classics as Pan’s Labyrinth. While del Toro is somewhat infamous for only directing a handful of the films that he spends time developing (see Hellboy 3), his efforts in bringing historical fables to the big screen have always been the bedrock to which his most ardent fans have most fervently clung.

Set in 1963 America at the height of the Cold War, The Shape of Water stars Sally Hawkins (Godzilla) as a mute janitor working in a mysterious laboratory that houses an enigmatic and enchanting amphibious man. After falling in love with the lab specimen, the two attempt to seek escape for the enslaved subject – though their romantic rendezvous is likely to be thwarted by an as-yet unnamed antagonist played by Michael Shannon (Midnight Special). Now del Toro has officially begun production on the film.

Fox Searchlight Pictures has confirmed (via press release) that The Shape of Water is now officially in production. On his verified Twitter account, del Toro confirmed that filming will formally start on the project at (to be precise) 4pm EST in Toronto, Canada today (at the time of writing this). The Fox press release also included the following statement from del Toro about the news:

“I started working on THE SHAPE OF WATER right around the time we moved to Toronto for PACIFIC RIM.  Working with Fox Searchlight and being supported by this beautiful group of actors and artists, I feel extremely blessed and brave.”

Guillermo Del Toro Creepy Guillermo del Toros The Shape of Water Begins Production

With a supporting cast including such acclaimed actors as Richard Jenkins (Bone Tomahawk), Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer (Zootopia), and Michael Stuhlbarg (Steve Jobs), del Toro’s latest film might yet prove to rank among his very best original motion picture productions. Serving as his followup effort to the (generally, favorably-received) Crimson Peak from last year, del Toro appears to be on the right track in the making of The Shape of Water.

Falling back on a well-documented historical context upon which a sprawling fantasy melodrama can be built, del Toro is definitely playing to his strengths with The Shape of Water. With any luck, the film will be a more than likable new entry from the contemporary master of horror, romance, and the macabre, and will be another winning entry in del Toro’s larger filmography.

NEXT: Charlie Hunnam Not Returning for Pacific Rim 2

The Shape of Water doesn’t have an official release date yet, but should reach theaters in 2017.

Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures

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