‘Super 8′: Everything We Know So Far

Teaser trailer, viral sites give more tantalizing hints about Steven Spielberg/J.J. Abrams project.

It’s kind of the cinematic equivalent of a supergroup, but instead of Bob Dylan and George Harrison joining forces, it’s Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams. The two filmmakers have been stealthily at work on a flick called “Super 8,” and now, thanks to an intrepid, camera-assisted moviegoer, we’ve had a chance to move past all the Web rumors and check out the brand-new teaser trailer ourselves.

We’d heard whispers of a collaboration between Spielberg and Abrams before, but the href="http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2010/05/07/super-8-movie-trailer-website-online/">first concrete news of their project popped up at the end of April, when New York magazine’s Vulture blog reported that Abrams was putting the finishing touches on a script that he would direct and that Spielberg would likely produce. Word was that the film would start shooting in the fall. But little else was known. The story apparently would follow “everyday people whose personal relationships are tested when they are thrown up against extraordinarily fantastic — and possibly otherworldly — events.”

A few days later, HitFix reported that the name of the film was “Super 8″ and that it might be a sequel to “Cloverfield,” the 2008 Abrams-produced alien disaster movie. What’s more, we found out that the teaser trailer was set to run in front of “Iron Man 2,” which started screening late on Thursday, in much the same way that the “Cloverfield” teaser debuted before “Transformers.”

Tantalizing stuff, but what exactly would the “Super 8″ teaser present?
An unnamed Vulture source said it would feature a group of kids in the ’70s or ’80s who shoot a movie on a Super 8 camera and that, after the film is developed, they notice an alien in the frame. The source also claimed “Super 8″ was “absolutely connected” to “Cloverfield.”

But hold on just a second. Abrams himself later told Vulture that “Super 8″ has “nothing whatsoever to do with ‘Cloverfield.’ ” That being said, there certainly seem to be some similarities, as early descriptions of the teaser trailer made clear. The earlier Vulture description was wrong. There are no kids and no Super 8 cameras. Instead, as SlashFilm reported, the footage featured a fiery train crash in the wake of the 1979 closing of Area 51, that purported hotbed of government experimentation on aliens. Mysterious materials were supposed to be transported to a secure facility, but after the crash, the trailer focuses on some type of strong creature trying to bang its way out of a cargo hold.

That description turned out to be spot-on, as we saw when a bootleg version of the trailer surfaced Thursday on the Web. With the trailer now widely available and plot details still under wraps, two “Super 8″ viral sites have surfaced. The first site features nothing more than a grainy shot of a damaged Super 8 camera. The second site, called The Scariest Thing I Ever Saw, features an old-school computer log-in screen that prompts users to enter a series of keyboard commands but ultimately does not seem to lead anywhere.

Yet. With Abrams and Spielberg at the wheel and “Super 8″ slated to hit theaters in the summer of 2011, you can be sure the teaser and the viral sites are only the beginning.

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