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Fox Searchlight Invests in More Guillermo del Toro-Like Projects

Fox Searchlight feels like it’s been betting on the right horse by distributing Academy Award-winner Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water as it plans to keep the winning streak running.

On Tuesday, presidents of the company Gilula and Nancy Utley announced it had signed a new deal with the Mexican director that will encompass all live-action films to be written, produced and directed by del Toro. Strong believer that the filmmaker’s vision is becoming increasingly popular, Fox Searchlight also decided to create a new genre label that will offer room for more horror, sci-fi, and fantasy projects from him as well as other artists.

“Throughout the process of ‘The Shape of Water’ coming to life, we have observed first-hand Guillermo at work as a director, a writer, a producer — a creator,” declared Utley and Gilula. “We believe in him and the vision for a new Searchlight label and we are eager to embark on this journey with him.”

Fox Searchlight Pictures

“For the longest time, I’ve hoped to find an environment in which I can distribute, nurture, and produce new voices in smart, inventive genre films and channel my own,” said del Toro, sharing his enthusiasm about the new partnership. “In Fox Searchlight, I’ve found a real home for live-action production — a partnership based on hard work, understanding of each other and, above all, faith. After the wonderful experience I had with Fox Searchlight on ‘The Shape of Water,’ I am honored to have the opportunity to continue the relationship.”

According to Variety, the first movie to be produced under the yet-to-be-named new label will be helmed by Black Mass director Scott Cooper and based on the short story The Quiet Boy, written by screenwriter Nick Antosca. Called Antlers, the film’s story will focus on “an elementary school teacher who takes in a troubled student that harbors a mysterious family secret with deadly consequences.”

The Shape of Water, Guillermo del Toro’s 9th feature film, grossed $190.5 million at the box office worldwide and received many awards and nominations, including 4 major Oscars (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Score, and Best Production Design) and 2 Golden Globes (Best Director and Best Original Score) wins.