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Shape Of Water ‘came from childhood dream’

There is always a strange period at the start of the year, when movies we haven't yet seen are ..

There is always a strange period at the start of the year, when movies we haven't yet seen are already leading the awards season.

This year it is Guillermo del Toro's The Shape Of Water which has the most nods, but UK audiences can't see it until later this month.

The movie, with strange fairytale-like qualities, tells the story of a mute woman who falls in love with a sea creature, and features a stellar cast including Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon, Octavia Spencer and Michael Stuhlbarg.

It's the latest offering from the Pan's Labyrinth director, who told Sky News that he's been working on the idea for a long time.

"It came from a childhood dream that the creature from the black lagoon and Julie Adams could end up together, which they didn't," he said.

"But then it evolved over the years and I thought I could do a Beauty And The Beast kind of story that was not conventional, because often times the beauty is an idealised woman… and I wanted to build a story of a unique woman, but that was real."

:: Awards season: Who tops the year's list?

Image:Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon in The Shape Of Water

Del Toro was also conscious he didn't want his beast to become a human.

"A beast that didn't have to turn in to a prince to have a love," he explained, adding that the key to the romantic relationship is that it's relatable.

"The physical love between them was not perverse or titillating, it was just very matter of fact."

Del Toro financed the creation of the sea creature off his own pocket, because of how essential it was to get it right.

"It had to do very complicated things: One, it couldn't look like a real, organic thing; two, it needed to be a movie monster; three, it needed to be a leading man; and four – very important – it needed to be a God, it needed to look like a primal God.

"And those things required three years – beginning with sculpting, there was painting, designing – we moved the eyes a little, we moved them a millimetre, everything was done physically, old style.

"I wanted the movie to feel handcrafted and real – like an old Hollywood production of a musical."

Oscars: Full list of nominations

Richard Jenkins
Video:Richard Jenkins on working with del Toro

The film features some fantastic performances – Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer are both BAFTA and Oscar nominated for their roles, while Richard Jenkins is also in the running for an Academy Award.

Del Toro said he knew who he wanted for many of the characters while writing the film – and that he tailored the script for each actor who joined the cast.

"The way I wrote the movie – I wrote it for Sally Hawkins, I wrote it for Michael Shannon and I wrote it for Octavia and then the rest I got every one of my first tries.

"I got Octavia, I got Richard and I got the other Michael, and then I re-wrote the movie.

"If it was not written for one of them I would re-write it, specifically for that person."

Jenkins, who plays the best friend of Hawkins' character, told Sky News it was an easy decision for him to accept the role.

"Absolutely, it was the easiest thing I ever did," he told us.

Guillermo Del toro
Image:Guillermo del Toro has been nominated for best director at the Oscars

"It was two emails: 'I hope you love this as much as I do,' he said. And I wrote back and said, 'I think I do,' and that was it, that was it."

Del Toro says that setting the film in the 1960s allowed him to address modern-day issues – alluding to President Donald Trump's surprising rise to power.

"The conditions in 1962 are not only identical to the conditions now – Cold War, casual racism, sexism, misogyny, everything was very active back then that is active now – but also '62 is a once-upon-a-time for America.

"It's a fairy-tale time for America – the Kennedys are in the White House, the space race is on, after the war there's an economic boom, everybody has jet fin cars, automatic kitchens, TV in every room, suburban houses… And that's the time I think America dreams of, when they say, 'let's make America great again'.

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"They dream of the 1960s – 1962 – but that [dream] dies, it never is fulfilled because Kennedy is shot and Vietnam escalates, so for the movie to have a spiritual, emotional and political position, I thought '62 is the perfect once-upon-a-time for what I need."

The Shape Of Water is out in cinemas in the UK on 14 February.

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007 film must treat Bond girls properly, says Waller-Bridge

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those ele..

Fast cars, martinis and Bond girls are core parts of the formula for 007 films, but one of those elements is set for a change in the latest adventure.

Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who is working on the script for the 25th Bond film, is on a mission to make sure the movie will "treat women properly" – even if the spy does not.

Image: Cast members (l-r): Lea Seydoux, Ana de Armas, Naomie Harris and Lashana Lynch at the launch of the new Bond film

Ahead of the release of the as-yet-untitled film, Waller-Bridge told Deadline: "There's been a lot of talk about whether or not (the Bond franchise) is relevant now because of who he is and the way he treats women.

"I think that's b*******. I think he's absolutely relevant now. It has just got to grow.

"It has just got to evolve, and the important thing is that the film treats the women properly.

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"He doesn't have to. He needs to be true to this character."

Sean Connery and Mie Hama in You Only Live Twice, 1967
Image: The Bond films have been criticised for their sexism
Dr No turned Sean Connery into an international superstar
Image: Dr No featured the famous scene with Ursula Andress walking out of the sea in a white bikini

Waller-Bridge says she intends to ensure the female characters, including those played by Lashana Lynch, Lea Seydoux and Ana de Armas, feel "like real people ".

More from Phoebe Waller-bridge

She added: "I just want to make sure that when they get those pages through, that Lashana, Lea and Ana open them and go, 'I can't wait to do that'.

"As an actrRead More – Source (more…)

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Sir Elton hits out at Russia for ‘cruel’ Rocketman censorship

Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic..

Sir Elton John has criticised Russian censors for cutting gay sex scenes from the hit musical biopic Rocketman.

The critically acclaimed film charts the British singer's rise to fame, and its scenes of kissing and sex between men, as well as drug use, contributed to it earning a 15 certificate in the UK.

But in a bid to play down the sexuality of Sir Elton, played by actor Taron Egerton, for a conservative Russian audience, an estimated five minutes of footage was reportedly removed ahead of its debut in Moscow.

Taron Egerton on Sir Elton: 'I adore him'

The Moscow Times quoted a Russian film critic who had seen the film at its world premiere in Cannes on 16 May as saying "all scenes with kissing, sex and oral sex between men have been cut", as well as a photo displayed during the end credits featuring Sir Elton and his husband David Furnish.

Sir Elton, 72, a prominent gay rights campaigner, released a joint statement with the makers of the film to accuse censors of being "cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people".

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"We reject in the strongest possible terms the decision to pander to local laws and censor Rocketman for the Russian market, a move we were unaware of until today," they said.

"That the local distributor has edited out certain scenes, denying the audience the opportunity to see the film as it was intended, is a sad reflection of the divided world we still live in and how it can still be so cruelly unaccepting of the love between two people.

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"We believe in building bridges and open dialogue, and will continue to pushRead More – Source

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Ben Affleck steps out to drop off kids as Robert Pattinson is announced as new Batman

Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)
Ben Affleck has been pictured ..

Ben Affleck played Batman until earlier this year (Picture: Backgrid)

Ben Affleck has been pictured performing his parental duties in Los Angeles, as his official replacement in the Batman role is announced.

The 46-year-old actor was seen in the early hours on Friday (31 May) dropping off son Samuel, seven, and daughter Seraphina, 10, to school.

Affleck has three children with ex-wife Jennifer Garner – Seraphina, Samuel and 13-year-old Violet.

On the same day the actor was pictured, it was announced Robert Pattinson will take over as Batman in a planned trilogy of movies with director Matt Reeves.

Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck, Samuel Garner Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck was on parent duties (Picture: Backgrid)

Affleck, who played Bruce Wayne in Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice and 2017s Justice League, stepped down from the role in January earlier this year – after being originally down to direct and star in his own film.

More: Ben Affleck

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Speaking about his departure in March, Affleck stated how he was never happy with the script they were planning to use.

Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck has a number of roles in the pipeline (Picture: Backgrid)
Brentwood, CA - Ben Affleck was on daddy duty this morning in Brentwood ahead of the weekend. Pictured: Ben Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck, Samuel Garner Affleck BACKGRID USA 31 MAY 2019 BYLINE MUST READ: Boaz / BACKGRID USA: +1 310 798 9111 / usasales@backgrid.com UK: +44 208 344 2007 / uksales@backgrid.com *UK Clients - Pictures Containing Children Please Pixelate Face Prior To Publication*
Ben Affleck with son Samuel and daughter Seraphina (Picture: Backgrid)

We worked on the script, I was trying to figure out how to cRead More – Source

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