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.