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Guillermo Del Toro Denies Stealing Shape of Water Plot From Late Playwright
Feb 22, 2018 by: WENN
Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Del Toro has denied he stole the story for his Oscar-nominated movie The Shape of Water from a dead playwright.
David Zindel is suing the filmmaker and bosses at FOX Searchlight on behalf of his late father, Paul Zindel, claiming the premise of the film is too similar to that of 1969 play Let Me Hear You Whisper.
Upon hearing the news about the lawsuit on Wednesday, del Toro released a statement denying the allegations.
"I have never read nor seen the play," del Toro, who is a favorite to win Best Director at the Oscars on March 4, told Deadline. "I'd never heard of this play before making The Shape of Water, and none of my collaborators ever mentioned the play."
The Shape of Water, starring Sally Hawkins and Octavia Spencer, has been nominated for 13 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and del Toro took note of the fact that the suit was filed just prior to the ceremony next month.
"I really cannot stomach the timing of this accusation," he added. “It’s pretty transparent what is happening here. To me, it’s actually a relief to take something from the arena of opinion into the arena of fact and law."
Del Toro also cited his lengthy career while defending himself.
"I have been at this 25 years and have an unimpeachable reputation," he said. "I have always made it an element of my career to talk about my influences in every single movie I have made, in the comment track of DVDs, on Twitter, in my museum exhibitions.
"I have been open about the things I love, and I have had no problem discussing them and how they were transformational in my movies... I am a writer/director who has generated TV series, books, movies and an enormous amount of screenplays through the years. Without a single complaint.”
TMZ reports Zindle's son is seeking all the profits from the film and an injunction to block the movie from any further screenings in theaters.
Representatives for FOX Searchlight have also denied claims of plagiarism.
"These claims from Mr. Zindel’s estate are baseless, wholly without merit and we will be filing a motion to dismiss," a statement from a studio spokesman reads.
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