Fox Searchlight will release Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War drama The Shape Of Water on December 8, right in the wheelhouse of the annual film awards season. The fantasy adventure film which has been mostly shrouded in secrecy stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Doug Jones, Lauren Lee Smith, Michael Stuhlbarg and Octavia Spencer.

Fox Searchlight describes the film as “an other-wordly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1963. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Hawkins) is trapped in a life of silence and isolation. Her life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.”

The experiment apparently is an “aquatic man,” played by Jones, a frequent del Toro collaborator who has appeared in the writer-director’s Pan’s Labyrinth and Hellboy movies as well as his FX series The Strain.

Del Toro directs from the script he wrote with Vanessa Taylor.