In January, we learned that writer Paul Zindel’s son, David Zindel, had accused The Shape of Water of being “obviously derived from” his father’s play, Let Me Hear You Whisper. In February, Zindel officially sued Fox Searchlight, Twentieth Century Fox, writer/director Guillermo del Toro, and associate producer Daniel Kraus for copyright infringement during the same week where Academy Awards voters were casting their votes. The controversy did not stop the film from winning four Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Music Score, Best Production Design), and now Zindel’s case has been settled for once and for all.
We first reported in late January that David Zindel, the son of playwright Paul Zindel, is accusing The Shape of Water of plagiarism. Now, the accusations have escalated in the form of a 53-page lawsuit against Fox Searchlight, Twentieth Century Fox, writer/director Guillermo del Toro, and associate producer Daniel Kraus.
NPR reports that Zindel’s suit was filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California. The suit alleges that The Shape of Water, “brazenly copies the story, elements, characters, and themes” of Paul Zindel’s 1969 work entitled Let Me Hear You Whisper. Zindel’s play, which was first adapted for television during the same year, tells the story of a female custodian who forms a special bond with a dolphin in a lab, and she hatches a plan to escape with the creature once she learns that scientists plan to dissect its brain. read more
The Shape of Water has been accused of plagiarism just days after being nominated for 13 Academy Awards, including Best Original Screenplay.
The Guardian reports that David Zindel, son of the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Paul Zindel, alleges that the story of The Shape of Water- written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor- is similar to his father’s play, Let Me Hear You Whisper, which originally aired as a television production in 1969 when del Toro was five years old. Paul Zindel is best remembered by bored ninth graders for his 1968 novel, The Pigman. read more