After months of mystery, “Super 8” finally arrived in theaters over the weekend. The secretive marketing campaigns seemed to have paid off, with positive reviews and experts predicting lasting box-office success .
With all that film-going satisfaction in mind, the way J.J. Abrams crafted his nostalgic thriller left plenty of lingering questions to be answered. So when the esteemed master of mystery stopped by our MTV News headquarters on Tuesday, we asked him our most burning “Super 8” questions. (Spoilers ahead!)
MTV News: When we go into the creature’s cave, we see the humans hanging upside down. Are they hanging upside down because he’s saving them to nosh on later?
J.J. Abrams: I love anything involving aliens and noshing. First of all, a man’s got to eat, let’s be honest. Part of it is that he’s a hungry guy and he’s been through a lot, and part of it is that there’s a second connection that he can make with people, so he’s sort of used them as sort of a library of information of what he needs to know about the human technology to use it.
MTV News: The zombie movie that the kids made — why a zombie movie? Why not monsters? Vampires? Why zombies?
Abrams: There are a series of films that George Romero did — “Night of the Living Dead,” “Dawn of the Dead” — and I thought that that would be something that could be a big influence on the kid who makes the movies, and so he’s sort of trying to create a movie the way that George Romero, his sort of hero in the movie, did with his zombie films.
MTV News: Is there a director’s cut, maybe something we might see on the DVD of their zombie film?
Abrams: There’s definitely a movie that’s three times as long, but it’s probably four times as bad.
MTV News: Why no kiss between Elle Fanning and Joel Courtney?
Abrams: You know, I don’t know who wanted to see the kiss between Elle Fanning and Joel Courtney, but to me … these were kids who, their affection for each other didn’t necessarily need to be played out with a kiss. But I think that hopefully you get the sense that their feelings for each other are profound.
MTV News: We hear Bruce Greenwood did the motion capture from the creature.
Abrams: Bruce Greenwood came in and he did some motion capture, body capture and also facial capture for the performance of the creature. A lot of it we ended up using and a lot of it we ended up having to animate and change because, frankly, when we saw the creature move, sometimes it felt like we had to change it up to make it work better.
The PG-13 F-Bomb
MTV News: It was a great use of the PG-13 f—. Was there always going to be the one F-bomb you threw? Did you go through different iterations?
Abrams: It made me laugh, the idea that this guy who was such a sort of dink at the beginning and the fact that you know he was trying to sell these kids pot, he’s trying to hook up with his sister and he’s just an utter loser working at the camera store. The idea that this guy kind of gets roped into this adventure and sort of starts to really care about these kids. It makes you sort of like the guy, and so his showing up and seeing these kids are still alive and being happy about it and then seeing that this bus has been overturned after this attack of the creature. That reaction that he had just felt like the reaction he would have. And I was hoping that we’d get past the rating and not have to lose it, and luckily we did.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Super 8.”
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