The first look at Guillermo del Toro’s upcoming film, The Shape of Water, has finally landed online. Said trailer debuted on the big screen attached to War for the Planet of the Apes, this past weekend. Now, however, the theatrical preview is online for everyone to check out for themselves.

Garnering an R-rating, The Shape of Water tackles the story of trapped and isolated Elisa (Sally Hawkins) who works in a hidden high-security government laboratory during the Cold War-era America, circa 1963. Her boring and lonely life, however, gets an unusual turn when she and coworker, Zelda (Octavia Spencer), suddenly discover a classified experiment. Described as a fantasy/fairy tale, del Toro fans have long been looking forward to the film – especially with its genre being one very much in del Toro’s wheelhouses. It also helps that The Shape of Water‘s December roll-out launch date suggests it may have real awards season potential.

On top of Hawkins and Spencer, other notable actors appearing in The Shape of Water include Michael Shannon, Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones and Lauren Lee Miller. For more on what to expect from the film, you should watch The Shape of Water trailer, featured above. You can also check out James Jean’s poster artwork for the film, below:

The Shape of Water Poster by James Jean The Shape of Water Trailer: Guillermo del Toros New Fairy Tale

Among other things, The Shape of Water trailer highlights del Toro’s penchant for creating visually-stunning fantasy creatures. While we don’t get a full shot of the film’s merman here, snippets of him give us an idea of how he looks – namely, like a cross between a fish (with its colorful scale-looking covered body) and a human who is able to stand and has something that looks like hands. (Not to mention, a creature that begs comparison to Jones’ Abe Sapien in del Toro’s Hellboy movies.)

The water creature (played by Jones) builds an unusual connection with Elisa, despite the warnings given to her by his peers about not getting too close to it. Pushing through with her friendship (and maybe a romantic relationship) with the being, things escalate in The Shape of Water when Elisa tries to free her newfound friend in the laboratory, where it is being kept – after she finds out that Shannon’s character is subjecting the merman to harmful experiments, as part of his study.

The Shape of Water trailer also uses both sight and sound in every sequence to heighten the narrative development – from Elisa’s routinary life to an epic adventure that she is about to get herself into. If the two and a half minute sneak peek is any indication of what del Toro was able to achieve in the film, loyal fans of the director are in for a real treat when the movies hits theaters.

NEXT: Guillermo del Toro Pays Tribute to George A. Romero

Source: Fox Searchlight Pictures, James Jean

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