The Shape of Water

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Name: The Shape of Water
Creator: Guillermo del Toro
Date(s): 2017
Medium: film
Country of Origin: USA
External Links: Wikipedia, IMDB, Official Website
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The Shape of Water is a 2017 American romantic dark fantasy drama film directed by Guillermo del Toro. In 2018, it received Best Picture at the Academy Awards.


There are three canon sources: the film, the novel, and the Making Of book.

The Shape of Water film

The Shape of Water is a fantasy film. It is director Guillermo del Toro's 'fairy tale for troubled times'. In some ways, it is a fanwork itself, re-interpreting The Creature from the Black Lagoon as a romance and social commentary on conservative American society. Wikipedia sums it up as "Set in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1962, the story follows a mute cleaner at a high-security government laboratory who falls in love with a captured humanoid amphibian creature."

The Shape of Water novel

The Shape of Water novel is co-authored by Guillermo del Toro and the horror writer Daniel Kraus. Daniel Kraus' approach, and his role in developing the Shape of Water concept, are described in this interview. Kraus notes that the novel "was a companion and it could be different. But I will say it's not wildly different."

The 'Making Of' book

In 2018, a detailed 'making of' book was also published: Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water: Creating a Fairy Tale for Troubled Times . [1] This book contains additional backstory material, especially detailed character profiles for Giles Dupont, Zelda Fuller, and Dr. Robert Hoffstetler.


The movie received a lot of attention in fandom for the canon couple being a human/monster pairing. It remains a relatively small fandom.

Most art and fic focuses on the central pairing, Elisa Esposito and the Asset. There is a steady trickle of crossover works linking The Shape of Water to del Toro's Hellboy films and the related comics.

Shape of Water archetypes and imagery are often used as the basis for AUs in other fandoms. These AUs recast different characters in the role of the Asset, the rescuer, and others. The Shape of Sheith fanzine is one example.





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