Guillermo Del Toro Accused Of Stealing The Plot For ‘The Shape Of Water’

January 22, 2018

Written by Kelli Marchman McNeely

Kelli Marchman McNeely is the owner of She is an Executive Producer of "13 Slays Till Christmas" which is out on Digital and DVD and now streaming on Tubi. She has several other films in the works. Kelli is an animal lover and a true horror addict since the age of 9 when she saw Friday the 13th. Email:

There are rumors and accusations flying that Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, the most nominated movie of 2018, is plagiarized. It’s a terrible accusation if it’s false, but if it’s true, it’s disgraceful.
So here’s the situation…
It all began with Reddit users pointing out the similarities between The Shape of Water and a 2015 student film from the Netherlands Film Acadamy titled The Space Between Us.
Both plots center on a woman cleaning a research facility, both feature an aquatic man/love interest, both are love stories.
The Space Between Us takes place in a post-nuclear era where the air has become so polluted that it’s lethal. In the film, a cleaning woman named Juliett falls for Adam, a captive merman.The film was written and directed by Marc S. Nollkaemper and stars Elsa May Averill, Adrian Brine, Jurandy Martien, and Kiefer Zwart as the creature, Adam.

The Shape of Water is set in the 1950s in a research facility. A cleaning woman named Elisa forms a relationship with an amphibious creature being studied. Co-written by Vanessa Taylor, the film stars Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Shannon, Richard  Jenkins, and Doug Jones as the aquatic man.

They are pretty similar, aren’t they? It doesn’t stop there, the visual effects and several scenes look very similar.


One of the student filmmakers, Didier Konings, had this to say:

So today, Del Toro released the trailer for his newest film The Shape of Water. Seems that his film has a lot of similarities with our graduation film The Space Between Us. Not only the story but also visually it seems to be inspired by our short from 2015,”

At the time of writing this Guillermo del Toro had not commented about the accusations. While I am a huge fan of del Toro, something about this situation seems a little fishy. What are your thoughts?
Editor’s note:
We are not here to judge or condemn. We are simply reporting on the situations. It’s your place to decide for yourself if you think the plot was stolen. 

Share This Article

You May Also Like…