screengrab from trailer
The allegations of plagiarism against the makers of the Oscar-winning film, The Shape Of Water have been recently dismissed and the team of the film has won the lawsuit. Back in February 2018, the family of Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Zindel had filed a lawsuit alleging that the movie was taken from Zindel’s play.
The lawsuit was filed in 2018 just ahead of the Oscar voting deadline. Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water's Oscar nominations included 13 Academy Awards categories and it won Best Picture and Best Director awards among other awards. The Shape of Water and Zindel’s Let Me Hear You Whisper have similar plots centred on a creature imprisoned in a science research facility.
The original lawsuit, filed in 2018, was rejected by U.S. District Court Judge Percy Anderson who stated, “The basic premise of an employee at a scientific facility deciding to free a creature that is subjected to scientific experiments” is “too general to be protected”. The copyright claim was revived in June last year as the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals felt that “additional evidence, including expert testimony, would aid in the objective literary analysis needed to determine” the similarities between The Shape of Water and Let Me Hear You Whisper.
A spokesperson for Searchlight Pictures claimed in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter that David Zindel, the son of Paul Zindel, author of Let Me Hear You Whisper’ has acknowledged, based on confidential information obtained during the litigation process, that his claims of plagiarism are unfounded. The media portal also revealed that he has acknowledged Guillermo del Toro as the true creator of The Shape of Water. Moreover, the media portal has reported that any similarity between the two works is coincidental.
The media portal also reported that the prosecution and defence teams were scheduled to present expert reports and witness designations this week ahead of a July trial date. However, the case has now been dropped entirely. Guillermo del Toro has overcome the claims that his film The Shape of Water was plagiarized. The film stars Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Michael Shannon and Octavia Spencer in pivotal roles.
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