The Shape of Water won the Academy Award for Best Picture. The Lighthouse was beyond critically acclaimed. Both films made huge cultural splashes. Both films star celebrated actors, celebrated for these specific performances. Both involved explicit, taboo sexual fascinations with sea-people creatures. And now, Claire Foy has decided to enter this very specific ring.
Per Deadline, The Crown star Foy will star in The Pisces, based on a Melissa Broder novel about a PhD student and writer named Lucy who becomes erotically transfixed and obsessed with a merman (which, as we all know from Zoolander, is a combination man-sea-creature). Her desire is used as an interrogation point for issues of psychosexuality, possession, and gender studies.
Broder will co-write the screenplay alongside Gillian Robespierre, who will also direct. I loved Robespierre‘s films with Jenny Slate, especially Obvious Child, and it will be interesting to see her usually lighter, funnier (but still emotionally vulnerable) purview applied to a more explicitly dark piece of material. Anne Carey and Amy Nauiokas will produce the film for Archer Gray (Lost Girls), and no studio nor other cast members — including the important merman — have been announced. Will Doug Jones go for a twofer? Or will Robert Pattinson see what it’s like on the other side?
In all seriousness, this film sounds intriguing and, despite its status as a book (and the two other recent films about aquatic dalliances), wholly original. When she’s not wearing her titular crown, Foy‘s choices are interesting and engaging, and often lean into genre (i.e. Unsane, The Girl in the Spider’s Nest). The Pisces sounds like it might be a perfect mix of these genre impulses with her prestige impulses. Can we get another erotic fish movie to win the Oscar?!