The son of Pulitzer-winning playwright Paul Zindel has claimed that the plot to multi-Oscar-nominated film The Shape of Water is “obviously derived” from a 1969 play by his father.
Zindel’s drama, Let Me Hear You Whisper, is about a female janitor who bonds with a captive dolphin in a research lab, The Guardian reports. However, the ending “differs considerably” from that of the new movie, by Guillermo del Toro, says The Daily Telegraph.
Fox Searchlight Pictures says that director and co-writer del Toro had never read nor seen Zindel’s play, which was broadcast on US television. The Guardian adds: “Mr del Toro has had a 25-year career during which he has made ten feature films and has always been very open about acknowledging his influences.”
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The Shape of Water is nominated for 13 Oscars, including best picture and best original screenplay. Some commentators have also compared the film to another work, a 13-minute short called The Space Between Us. The Netherlands Film Academy, which produced the short, has issued a statement saying that the two films “have their own very different identities”, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
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