While there’s several influences on filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s potential awards contender “The Shape of Water,” none is more obvious than the 1954 Universal monster classic “Creature from the Black Lagoon”.
That film followed a group of scientists on an expedition in the Amazonian jungle who encounter a prehistoric Gillman, and it boasted some incredible underwater photography for the time. ‘Shape’ essentially takes the ‘creature’ and explores the idea of it being captivity and a lowly female janitor falling in love with the beast.
In fact while speaking with THR, del Toro revealed his inspiration was the happier ending he imagined for “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” since he first saw the film:
“The creature was the most beautiful design I’d ever seen, and I saw him swimming under [actress] Julie Adams, and I loved that the creature was in love with her, and I felt an almost existential desire for them to end up together. Of course, it didn’t happen.”
del Toro also confirmed that he tried to launch a remake of “The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” but he never could get permission from Universal:
“I went to Universal and I said, ‘Can we do the movie from the point of view of the creature?’ They didn’t go for it. I said, ‘I think they should end up together.’ They didn’t go for that, either.”
With Universal’s Dark Universe plans likely to be reworked following the soft reaction to “The Mummy,” del Toro’s new film may well be the nearest thing we’ll get to a ‘Creature’ remake anytime soon.