Guillermo Del Toro’s “The Shape Of Water” has faced multiple copyright lawsuits. One recently settled, but in the case, it was alleged that the films’ creators had “plagiarised the story of The Shape of Water from Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Paul Zindel’s 1969 play Let Me Hear You Whisper, which told the story of a cleaning lady in a laboratory, who forms an attachment to a dolphin being used in a science experiment.” The suit was first filed in early 2018 by Paul Zindel’s estate (and obviously his son, Paul), just as The Shape of Water has been heavily weighed by Oscar voters.
Guillermo Del Toro refuted the allegations, stating, “I have never read nor seen the play. I’d never heard of this play before making The Shape of Water, and none of my collaborators ever mentioned the play.”
Searchlight Pictures (which was a co-defendant in the suit) responded, “David Zindel, the son of Paul Zindel, author of Let Me Hear You Whisper, acknowledges, based on confidential information obtained during the litigation process, that his claims of plagiarism are unfounded. He acknowledges Guillermo del Toro as the true creator of The Shape of Water. Any similarity between the two works is coincidental.”
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