〉 The Oscar-nominee is circling Del Toro’s Cold War-era fairytale about a woman who falls for an amphibious man.
Richard Jenkins is in talks to star in Crimson Peak director Guillermo Del Toro‘s otherworldly Cold War love story, THE SHAPE OF WATER. Jenkins would be joining Sally Hawkins in the previously untitled project, which is being written by Del Toro for Fox Searchlight. Octavia Spencer and Michael Stuhlbarg are also in negotiations to star.
While details have long been kept under wraps, we’re hearing that the fairytale, set in 1963, centers around Elisa (Hawkins), a mute janitor working at a lab where an amphibious man is being held captive. When Elisa falls in love with the creature, she devises a plan to help him escape with the assistance of her neighbor (Jenkins). The world outside of the lab, however, may prove to be more dangerous for the amphibious man than Elisa could have anticipated.
The story has elements that fans of Del Toro should recognize, namely the incorporation of fantastical elements into a specific time and place in the real world. Pan’s Labriynth, for example, saw an imaginative young girl escaping into the world of a fairytale amid the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War. The ‘amphibious man’ character, meanwhile, echoes Abe Sapien, the amphibious sidekick portrayed by Doug Jones and David Hyde Pierce in Del Toro’s Hellboy.
Jenkins, who was previously nominated for Best Actor at the Oscars for his performance in The Visitor, is best known for his roles in HBO’s Six Feet Under and Olive Kitteridge, comedies like Step Brothers and Burn After Reading, and genre films like Cabin the Woods and Jack Reacher. He’ll next be seen in Rob Reiner’s LBJ.
Josh Lyons | Managing Editor