The Shape of Water

Question: Isn't this film blatantly derivative of Guillermo del Toro's earlier films, "HellBoy" and "HellBoy: The Golden Army"? It seems to me that the Asset in "The Shape of Water" is a direct knock-off Abe Sapien from the Hellboy films. The amphibious Asset is held at a top secret facility, as was Abe Sapien; the Asset is fed hard-boiled eggs, as was Abe Sapien; the Asset develops a love interest and romantic relationship with a female air-breather, as did Abe Sapien. To top it off, del Toro called in contortionist-actor Doug Jones to play the Asset in "The Shape of Water" (Doug Jones also played Abe Sapien in the HellBoy films). "Shape of Water" could almost be a spin-off the old HellBoy films, given Guillermo del Toro's involvement and recycling of familiar themes.

Charles Austin Miller

Answer: There are a lot of Hellboy fans who speculate this is an origin story of Abe, or at the very least the Asset is the same species, but del Torro has denied it. Abe is a copyrighted character that del Torro's Hellboy was based on, and he doesn't own the copyright. In addition, prior to The Shape of Water, del Torro was in talks with Universal about remaking "The Creature from the Black Lagoon", only making the movie center on the creature's (Gill-Man) perspective and getting together with Kay (the female lead). Del Torro has stated that the Amphibious Man is based on Gill-Man and this film is what he had pitched to Universal, but was turned down by them. Although, a creature developing a love interest in a human female isn't unique, nor is capturing a creature to study (both happen to Gill-Man, Abe, and Amphibious Man). But the fact that Doug Jones plays both Abe and the Amphibious Man only seems to strengthen theories of some connection to Hellboy, but at this point we only have del Torro's word that it's not and why he choose the creature to be so similar at this point would only be a guess.

Bishop73

Question: How can I find out what old movies are are shown within the movie? I can't find the credits anywhere.

jsarirose

Answer: IMDB often has a "connection" section that has some of these trivia facts. "The Story of Ruth" (1960) was playing in the theater. But so far that's the only old movie played that is listed. "Mardi Gras" (1958) was seen on the marquee.

Bishop73

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Quotes

Giles: If I told you about her, what would I say? That they lived happily ever after? I believe they did. That they were in love? That they remained in love? I'm sure that's true. When I think of her - of Elisa - the only thing that comes to mind is a poem, whispered by someone in love, hundreds of years ago: "Unable to perceive the shape of You, I find You all around me. Your presence fills my eyes with Your love, It humbles my heart, For You are everywhere."

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Mistakes

While featuring a brand-new 1962 Cadillac, a 1963 Chevrolet and 1963 Ford are shown.

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Trivia

There were rumors right up until the release that the film was a prequel to the 2004 superhero movie "Hellboy" - in no small part because both films feature an amphibious man played by actor Doug Jones as one of the lead characters, and both films were also directed by Guillermo del Toro. Despite the widespread speculation, del Toro consistently denied any plot or character associations between "The Shape of Water" and the Hellboy films.

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