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First Trailer for Guillermo Del Toro’s Merman Fairy Tale ‘The Shape of Water’ Debuts (Watch)

Sally Hawkins is at the center of the otherworldly first trailer for Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” portraying a lonely janitor at a government laboratory who befriends an aquatic man in a tank played by Doug Jones.

Set in 1963, the trailer portrays Hawkins’ Elisa as a mute woman — trapped in a life of silence and isolation — whose  life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (played by Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.

“If I told you about her — the princess without a voice — what would I say?” a narrator asks at the beginning of the trailer.

“When he looks at me, he doesn’t know how I am incomplete,” Hawkins says through sign language, translated by Richard Jenkins’ character. “He sees me as I am.”

Michael Shannon portrays a scientists studying Jones’ character who declares, “We need to take it apart and learn how it works.”

The film also stars Richard Jenkins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Nick Searcy. Jones is a frequent collaborator with del Toro and has starred in “Mimic,” “Hellboy,” “Hellboy II: The Golden Army,” “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Crimson Peak,” along with the TV series “The Strain.”

Fox Searchlight has given “The Shape of Water” an awards season release date of Dec. 8. Watch the trailer below.

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