‘Super 8’: J.J. Abrams reveals the secrets of his new film

Feb. 06, 2011 | 4:08 p.m.
j j abrams on super 8 set Super 8: J.J. Abrams reveals the secrets of his new film

J.J. Abrams on the set of "Super 8."

Sitting in his Santa Monica office late last week, J. J. Abrams was the picture of a conflicted filmmaker. For months, he had guarded every detail about his upcoming movie, but now, against all of his instincts, the writer-director knew it was time to reveal the secrets of “Super 8” — or at least some of them.

“This is the first time I’ve talked about the movie with anybody that wasn’t working on it,” a fidgeting Abrams said of the June 10 release — the third feature he’s directed, following the hits “Star Trek” and “Mission: Impossible III.” Abrams, the co-creator of the ABC series “Lost,” would much prefer to keep quiet right up until opening night, but he and producer Steven Spielberg have seen this summer’s intensely dense release schedule and are too invested in “Super 8” to let it get lost in the crowd.

super 81 Super 8: J.J. Abrams reveals the secrets of his new filmNo major movie this summer has been kept under wraps like “Super 8” — all that’s really known about it comes from a teaser trailer from last year showing a stunning locomotive derailment and some sort of powerful beastie escaping from a military train-car — and Abrams likes it that way. “Cloverfield,” the monster-movie with a similar state-secret approach, was produced by Abrams, along with partner Bryan Burk.

Sunday’s premiere of a 30-second commercial for “Super 8” during the Super Bowl, however, marks the beginning of the public life of the movie that Abrams would rather keep locked up in his basement for another four months.

“To me, all people need to know is that it’s an adventure about a small town and it’s funny, it’s sweet, it’s scary and there’s a mystery: What is this thing that has escaped? What are the ramifications of its presence? And what is the effect on people? But I know that’s not enough. Look, I feel we need a little bit of a coming-out party because we are up against massive franchises and brands and most people don’t know what ‘Super 8’ means. We’re a complete anomaly in a summer of huge films … and we don’t want to be so silent or coy that people don’t care or don’t hear about it.”

So, ladies and gentlemen, meet “Super 8,” a sci-fi film that has the monster-on-the-loose vibe of “Fringe” (another television show that Abrams co-created) or “The X-Files” as well as a throwback spirit that in many ways evokes “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Stand by Me” and maybe even “The Goonies.”  Those were all movies from the 1980s popcorn era that most shaped the sensibilities of the 44-year-old Abrams, and the film’s title has a similar heritage connection for him.

“Super 8” takes its name from the Eastman Kodak film format that became a sensation with amateur movie-makers in the late 1960s and represented a rite of passage for several generations of aspiring directors, among them Spielberg and Abrams. The Paramount Pictures release is set in Ohio in 1979 and introduces a troupe of six youngsters who are using a Super 8 camera to make their own zombie movie. One fateful night, their project takes them to a lonely stretch of rural railroad tracks and, as the camera rolls, calamity strikes — a truck collides with an oncoming locomotive and a hellacious derailment fills the night with screaming metal and raining fire. Then something emerges from the wreckage, something decidedly inhuman.

During the Super Bowl, the world will get a taste of “Super 8” with a commercial of quick-cut images that reveal the young faces, the small-town vibe and the vintage textures of a movie that includes plenty of time-capsule episodes — including a sparkling moment that will give “Reality Bites” a run for its money in the category of  best usage of  “My Sharona.” That’s the sort of detail that Abrams would rather keep close to the vest but on Thursday he allowed a visitor (yours truly) to watch about 30 minutes of “Super 8” footage, which included an especially savage destruction of a gas station and a heartbreaking father-son conversation. During the visit, it was also apparent that Abrams believes he has something special with the film.

jj abrams Super 8: J.J. Abrams reveals the secrets of his new film

J.J. Abrams (Tracey Nearmy/EPA)

“As the process went along I  realized I had the potential makings of  my favorite sort of movie, which is the one that is the hardest genre to define,” Abrams said. “That because you could say — and be right — that it’s a science fiction movie; or you could say — and be right — that it’s a love story; or you could say — and be right — that it’s a comedy; or you could say — and be right — that it’s a special-effects spectacle. That sort of cocktail is for me what I love about movies … that was the beginnings of this movie coming together.”

The movie began as two projects that ended up merging due to their individual deficiencies. The first was a non-fantastical tale of youngsters and the way they see the world and each other through the viewfinder of their Super 8 camera. Abrams took the vague notion to Spielberg and they decided to investigate further but a string of meetings with top writers in town ended with a lot of shrugs and consternation.  Abrams said “there was not much there and it was frustrating because it would not go away in my head. … I couldn’t tell you what the story was. I knew characters, I knew situations, I knew there were issues of class and a love story at the core and that it would be a coming-of-age movie. A lot of the writers were lukewarm.”

Paramount, meanwhile, had bought a separate idea by Abrams for a spooky film about the 1970s scrutiny of Area 51 and how anxious government officials decided the best way to protect the classified possessions of the increasingly notorious military base was to ship them off to other sites aboard midnight trains — one of which never reaches its final destination. With this project, Abrams had “a pretty cool premise but no characters to speak of … so I was in possession of two halves and it occurred to me after six months or so to put them together.”

jj abrams on set of star trek Super 8: J.J. Abrams reveals the secrets of his new film

J.J. Abrams and Zoe Saldana on the set of "Star Trek." (Paramount Pictures)

The hybrid approach immediately won the affections of Spielberg. He told Abrams that for years he had tried to find a film that spoke to the specific heartbreak of divorce and then finally found it by making the unlikely decision to meld it with a sci-fi story. The result was “E.T.,” which had spaceships but was just as much a tale of a single-parent family and the loss of connection and home, for human and alien alike. “Super 8” has a similar backbeat approach to heartache. The film begins with a small-town factory death that is very much of the real world.

“This is a movie about overcoming loss and finding your way again and finding your own voice,” Abrams said. “A boy who’s lost his mother and the man who’s lost his wife. There’s this father who, because of the era, never really had to be the parent. He’s a good man, he works hard, he’s a deputy in the town, but he’s never stepped up as father.”

The fact that the story is built around a half-dozen young characters presented profound challenges once the cameras started rolling.  Spielberg was a key voice in the casting process and Abrams also sought advice from old friend Matt Reeves (who just worked with a child cast on “Let Me In“), as well as Rob Reiner, who assembled a youth cast for the ages when he put River PhoenixWil Wheaton, Kiefer Sutherland and Corey Feldman on the screen in “Stand by Me.” All the advice in the world, though, couldn’t completely prepare Abrams for the “trial by fire” on the set.

[For the record, Feb. 7, 9:50 a.m.: An earlier version of this post misspelled the first names of Wil Wheaton and Kiefer Sutherland.]

jj abrams on set of mission impossible iii Super 8: J.J. Abrams reveals the secrets of his new film

J.J. Abrams and Tom Cruise on the set of "Mission Impossible III." (Paramount Pictures)

“It was a little bit like being a parent where you kind of have to herd this group,” Abrams said. “They were all incredibly distinct and just amazing to work with. Two of the main kids had never been on the set of anything before. … I have to tell you after the first day or two I was horrified. It just took them 48 hours, though, to go from being complete neophytes to being on their way. It was incredible to watch, and as scary as it was for me I can’t imagine how scary it was for them.”

In the footage Abrams showed, there was one scene in which 12-year-old actress Elle Fanning is at work on the movie-within-the-movie with her young compatriots and stirs up so much emotion that the other kids are dumbfounded with a mixture of swoon and shock. It’s especially compelling stuff, and Abrams said the Georgia native is a preternatural presence in the cast. “Elle was born to do this,” Abrams said, “and she is just eerie in her sophistication and wisdom.”

hcffteaser2 Super 8: J.J. Abrams reveals the secrets of his new filmAbrams talked about much more — the challenge of creating a compelling alien that would capture the imagination of audiences, for instance — but it was off the record or for another day. The Super Bowl ad will go a long way to putting “Super 8” on the radar of movie fans, but the director is reluctant to provide anything more than that blip on the screen. While contemporary peers such as “Iron Man” director Jon Favreau reach out to fans, bloggers and journalists throughout the filmmaking process for a thoroughly transparent view, Abrams longs for the muscle-car days of 1979 when movies had far more mystique.

“‘I’ve never done Twitter,” said Abrams, a man who has a tape cassette player in his car and is releasing a movie called “Super 8” in the age of iPhones. All of that and the summer of blockbuster competition add up to worries about time and timing.

“We have such a challenge on this movie,” Abrams said. “Yes, we’ve got Steven’s name on it and my name on it — for what that’s worth — but we’ve got no famous super-hero, we’ve got no pre-existing franchise or sequel, it’s not starring anyone you’ve heard of  before. There’s no book, there’s no toy, there’s no comic book. There’s nothing. I don’t have anything; I don’t even have a board game, that’s how bad it is. But I think we have a very good movie.”

— Geoff Boucher


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123 Responses to ‘Super 8’: J.J. Abrams reveals the secrets of his new film

  1. Horace Austin says:

    Of all the trailers for the 2011 genre films, I liked the trailer for SUPER 8 the best. It attracted my curiosity without showing me the whole movie. Very well done. Looking forward to the film.

  2. Danby says:

    Super 8 looks like the kind of movie which will take me back to growing up in the 70's with Close Encounters and ET. Abrams showed his ability to " Go back" with Star Trek, and Speilberg invented the the genre. Can't wait.

  3. Netizen says:

    The Abrams name guarantees this film will become a blockbuster hit.

  4. Cyborg Superman says:

    Looks theater-worthy to me. I preferred the teaser I saw at the movies awhile back to the trailer they showed during the game. I like a little mystery. That was part of the allure of Cloverfield.

  5. Jack_Meoph says:

    Something original? Thanks.

  6. Warner Brown says:

    I'm sorry, but Cloverfield was not that great.

    • eee says:

      You realize he didn't direct that film of course.

      • Adam says:

        I was about to say the samething, in that he didn't direct the film. All Abrams films/TV Shows have been great so far :D

    • Art Doyle says:

      I couldn't agree more, my biggest problem with Cloverfield was the constant camera motion, I was ready to puke after 15 minutes….Area 51 is a fascinating topic, long overdue in film

    • Glenn says:

      Cloverfield was a matersterpiece, in that the shaky cam made the film differant & appealing, plus it never gave away to much till the end… that film was awesome & I really wish they would make a sequal as I would love to know what happens with the aliens in it… maybe through the eyes of a second groups found camera? it was an artististic matersterpiece & abrams was a genious for finding it….

    • jackelfroth says:

      I completely agree. I got played by all the hype of Cloverfield and how the release date (I went opening night) was the same day that the movie was "happening". Overall, it didn't go anywhere and the monster just disappeared back into the ocean?! I know Abrams didn't direct it, but his name was what carried a lot of weight and helped build a lot of its hype. I am looking forward to Super 8 – at the very least it looks like a movie I'd want to pay for in the theater, not just watch on the internet for free.

    • Lee says:

      It was better than alien VS. Predator, yes? And that movie sucked.

  7. Sophie says:

    All I can say is I really hope this is better than Cloverfield. That was the biggest waste of hype. The bickering and bantering dialogue made me wish the monster would eat at least those annoying twenty somethings and then leave.

    Oh and "a sci-fi film that has the monster-on-the-loose vibe" = Cloverfield. Please don't turn into Edward Burns and make the same film over and over. Thanks!

  8. Merzmensch says:

    Well, there is no franchise, but there is a pretty cool viral story running parallel with Super8. I wonder, why it wasn't mentioned here.

  9. Joe says:

    This was the best spot during the show and JJ's showman's instincts are right. All the fretting about franchise this and brand that is very insular MBA and boardroom myopia and has little to do with making a good movie.

  10. bbasset says:

    The Iron Giant? haha

  11. Greyson Flax says:

    Sophie – Clover did the eat the camera man at the end.

  12. Shay says:

    I hope this doesn't turn out to be like Cloverfield a bunch of hype then you see it and it's nonsense. I thought Cloverfield was a horrible movie. The city was being attacked, his brother was killed, his friends dying left and right. And, all he could think about was finding the girl that dumped him. And, not knowing what the hell was going on. I know it was supposed to have some sense of realness but, still there should have been some explanation in the film. They could've had the main characters over hear someone in the military talking about what was going on. Then the scene with the girl that gets bitten. No explanation for what happen to her or why. It was a horrible movie. I wanted my money back at then.

    • MandiP says:

      Shay, That was a problem for me in Cloverfield too. It was New York City. As much as people like each other there, her butt would be left behind in reality, especially when blood relatives were going like flies. Self preservation would have kicked in. Worry about her? Sure, but when I'm out of the City and have the sense to do so. The other thing was that Cloverfield was TOO short. Never got a decent look or feel for the monsters, never knew why they were there either. I'm so-so on Cloverfield. I still think there is a better film out there for it. Super 8 doesn't remind me of Cloverfield at all, thank goodness. My fingers are crossed for it since there is a lot of competition this summer!

      • Span says:

        I don't care that nothing was explained, the terrible story, acting and, yup, SFX were enough to make me dislike it though. It was like Dawson's Creek with a monster that sort-of did stuff sometimes. Also, it all being filmed on handheld cameras was a good, if somewhat unremarkable, idea, but the execution was laughable. Awful movie.

      • Lauren says:

        I think you need to look at Cloverfield from a different perspective. It was shot in such a way that would make the viewer feel as if they were watching actual footage that had been recovered (which explains why it ends so abruptly). I think it did just that. And, let's face it- most people are drawn to films that encompass some sort of love story, so why should this one be an exception? Cloverfield was a great film that accomplished exactly what it set out to do.

      • GoD says:

        Some people may fee; like they need to watch a love story so let me ask this why would one who wants to see people fall in love go see a movie that, even in the hype, was a bout a gaint monster destroying a city? That makes about as much sense as going to watch a movie about war and expect to see Gandhi

    • scotty says:

      come on, guys! this is the 1970's! back then they didnt have things like branch prove trains.

  13. The Vision says:

    A truck can't derail a locomotive.

    • Tyler says:

      A well placed branch can derail a locomotive. Why couldn't a truck?

      • Randy says:

        A truck to a train has the same effect as an empty aluminum can to a car; it won't do anything to a heavy locomotive as portrayed in this movie; you just need to take the movie for what it is; fantasy.

    • Samplelord says:

      Yeah…thats bugs me too.
      It's supposed to be a top secret military transport yet a truck can just park on the rails….and derail the train.

      And then the train explodes…?
      Since when do trains explode when they derail?
      But…..this is a teaser and I do like the general vibe of it, lets hope they did put some logic in this flick.

    • Josh M. says:

      The truck blows up when it smashes into the train, causing the track to get destroyed and also making the wheels of the train slip. And when Aliens/J.J. Abrams are involved, anything can happen.

    • Caryn says:

      If you've been following the ARG from about a year ago when it began for this movie, you'd know the 'truck' didn't necessarily derail the train… but a combination of the truck and the alien inside the traincar (notice how the wheel turns itself… telekinesis).

    • Caryn says:

      Also, here is evidence that a truck CAN and HAS derailed a train; especially in 1979 (when this movie takes place):

    • ron says:

      OOOO yes it can !!!!! i have seen many derailments that were cause by a single vehicle being being hit by a train. Do a little research. It wont happen every time, but it is a reality.

    • John says:

      Actually, a truck CAN derail a locomotive. About two years ago a train derailed after hitting a minivan on a train crossing in Israel.

  14. subutai says:

    "Is it a comedy? Is it a sci-fi? Is it a love story?" In other words, J.J. Abrams is making another movie by committee that is the latest rage in Hollywood, where the wind blows too and fro, and the movie changes daily as they try to put lipstick on a Pig. Let's get ten more producers to add their two cents, and lets hide the details from the press and call it "mysterious". YAWN!

    • Art Doyle says:

      The trailer might actually be the best 2 minutes of the movie, Area 51 is a great subject but after reading all
      the other elements he's tossing in, this sounds like it might be a huge bomb.

  15. Dan the movie man says:

    Looks like more crap for this overhyped hack.

  16. kiliki says:

    I think it's refreshing to see a movie made that is not based on a book, toy or comic book, or is a remake of something that's been done two or three times. It's about time they come up with something new!! Love everything JJ does. Can't wait to see it.

  17. OregonGuy says:

    Too bad Abrams has given into studio/Spielberg pressure to reveal more of the movie’s plot with the latest trailer as a way to calm their fears of this summer’s match-up. Abrams is clearly passionate about holding it close to the vest and keeping the “mystique” going for the fans until the last minute (we love that about him), but in an upcoming summer of potential blockbusters his associates are needlessly nervous about losing revenue. Quality filmmaking (i.e. Abrams) always prevails because of word of mouth, so the movie will do fine and here’s hoping Abrams will keep it closer to the vest next time.

  18. George Charnie Jr says:

    Too many movie trailers show the highlights of the movie. Then when you see the movie the trailer was better than the movie, or you feel as if you have already seen the best parts. This movie trailer is different. This is a different movie. This Movie is going to be good.

  19. Guest says:

    Cloverfield's release date was a good idea cause competition wasnt a big problem. Summer is a big competitive spot…i think a stupid choice.

  20. Lisa says:

    Don't pull a cloverfield. That's all I have to say.

  21. MARK GEORGEFF says:

    JJ…saw the trailer and after reading this article…couldn't agree with you more. Keep the mystique going. There's gonna be enough fallout from lopsided, budget and star bloating blockbusters this summer. Don't get caught up in the trap. I still want great stories. Great characters in great scenes. This is gonna be popcorn great. With some real impact. Write on…right on.

  22. Zenon says:

    I'm very excited for this movie
    my most anticipated this year I think

    Also, anyone solve any clues in the new trailer?
    There HAS TO be something.

  23. mark says:

    I live in the town where the movie was filmed. From what was seen in the filming process. It looks like it is going to be an outstanding movie. Some of the scenes that were seen first hand should be nothing short of spectacular on the screen.

  24. Dee says:

    I loved Cloverfield – one of the best movies I have seen, love JJ, and looking very much forward to Super 8.

  25. Jafoolee says:

    Watching the new trailer was like taking a deep breath after suffocating. It's about bloody time.

  26. Disdana says:

    I saw a face in the portal. Must be a Cyborg

  27. Jon says:

    There are too many trailers out there that show you too much. It's great to see JJ bringing a little mystery to filmaking. Also, Kyle Chandler ( Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights) is one of the best Actors out there. This is a comfortable feeling because we know Elle Fanning can out act some A listers out there. I can't wait.

  28. Young KIM says:

    Keep me posted please, thank you.

  29. Brittany says:

    I've been following this movie for months now and it's great to finally see some solid information. I can't wait until it comes out in theaters. There's a good website called super8newscom if you want some decoding of the trailer and stuff like that.

  30. victoria says:

    I dunno about you guys but I loved Cloverfield lol. It’s a love story obviously about creatures and a ruined city standing between a couple. I own both Star Trek & Cloverfield. Absolutely in love with all of Spielbergs things. This will be nothing like Cloverfield. Even better. There’s websites with hidden images & such but I don’t think Abrams should reveal anything. No matter what the skeptics say, they’re still going to go see the movie LOL. Definitely a new type of film. Been waiting a year for even a little info on it. Can’t FUCKING wait!

  31. Somis Guy says:

    They shot much of the movie out here near where I live in So. Cal, built a beautifull period gas station… sets, 70’s era cars running around… Incredable number of people, trucks, lifts, lighting rigs, tents for feeding crew, just an amazing thing to watch happen near our ranch. Can’t wait for the Movie to open!

  32. guest says:

    The trailers look great………so proud of my town….

  33. Lisa says:

    I grew up in the town where is was filled, my parents still there, I visit every summer and hope to see the movie with all my friends still there, really exciting for our small town (it is a city) to be in movie,

  34. dee says:

    i was n born in weirton west virginia (lilian ohio) and cant wait for the movie to come out,,

  35. woohoo says:

    reminds me of E.T. and Stand By Me for some reason. Has a very nostalgic feel to it, reminds me of being a kid… I can't wait to see it!

  36. Hollywood says:

    Dear Mr Abrams

    Please do not make another "Cloverfield" type movie.

    Yours Truly
    Movie Goer with Plenty of other options this Summer

  37. guide says:

    next thing you know its not all that…

  38. Caryn says:

    The OP states that there's not much known about this movie. Maybe not known 'publicly', but the Alternate Reality Game surrounding this movie that Abrams and Spielberg have been orchestrating has been going on for over a year now. The game consists of 'clues', 'hints', 'secret sites', and even ads on Craigslist, phone numbers to call, and physical mailed pieces… all patching together a very complicated 'game' designed to draw in those who are curious enough to participate so they can learn more about the 'alternate reality' that this movie is about.

    There is a whole subculture of Alternate Reality Gamers who follow these 'viral marketing' tactics leading up to new movies… and unfortunately for the average person… these games make a HUGE difference in how you see the movie when it finally comes out. Cloverfield, for example, had a MASSIVE ARG leading up to the release of the movie. And for those people who didn't follow the game, it's likely they didn't understand a LOT of what they saw in the movie. Had you followed the game, you would have walked away from that movie a lot more impressed than you probably were…

  39. Diana DeMille says:

    Please don't give away anything else! Just let us wait and suffer.

  40. mysterybox2 says:

    check it (and have a slusho)! http://super8poster.wordpress.com/

  41. Pat Benn says:

    With Nolan not putting out a film out for a while, I have to say thank you, thank you, oh THANK YOU JJ Abrams for giving me a reason to go to the movies this summer.

    If it's good enough, I'll go see it twice to help make sure that more original stuff gets put out in the future.

  42. Sven says:

    This is going to be E.T. meets Close Encounters meets Cocoon meets Gremlins meets The Goonies… AND IT'S GOING TO BE GREAT ! At last the 80's cinema has come back to the big screen. Thanks J.J. ! And great to have Spielberg back where he is at his best !
    Sven, a fan from Belgium.

  43. TJ Max says:

    Spieldberg's first films were a little Campy too. Even Jaws is good but not Spieldberg at his best. It takes time to build a good reputation and also get the best writers and staff behind you.

  44. jedi9ts says:

    Ellen Fanning is in it, more screaming like her sister did in War of the World.

  45. Alexis says:

    I don't usually read interviews this long, but I HAD to if it was Abrams' first one about Super 8. And wow; LOTS of details about it! I so don't regret taking time to read this aloud. I am extremely interested and obsessed with it. I get what JJ Abrams is saying about the publicity; he wants to keep it in the dark, but doesn't want people to be uninterested in it. Like he said, he's got nothing to base it on. No toys, books, etc. It's still going to be an extremely successful film! Jealous that this site was revealed 30 minutes of the film.

  46. GROOVEE MOVEES says:

    The first trailer was kind of misleading, but the movie does look really good! I recently saw "Battle: Los Angeles," and they showed the third trailer for "SUPER 8." Looks really good, but Abrams just LOVES to tease us. And I don't blame him. If i were a movie maker and I had the power to do that, I would hype my movie so much that people would be killing each other just to get into the theater!!!

  47. Robbie says:

    Looks like a kids movie to me.

  48. Reel Films says:

    I'm a huge fan of Steven Spielberg in every aspect of filmmaking. I'm a director myself and truly enjoy his work as it is inspiration in my own, and I must also say that I have never been more drawn to a story as I was in Lost. When I found out that these two great filmmakers had merged on a project, My heart stopped for a second and I could actually hear mind processing the info. It is truly an enlightening feeling for anyone who enjoys film. Regardless what movies are coming out this year. I think we will be able to say this will be one for the ages. Congrats on Super 8 and hope to see more in the future. http://www.genesismovie.net

  49. Anya says:

    Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose!

  50. Aureus says:

    Can I just say what I love about JJ Abrams? He's JJ Abrams. This film is sure to be fantastic! What did happen at Area 51…

  51. Payten says:

    This is what I love about movies, they are so secretive……… I mean, what would a movie be with out it? People say, "Cloverfield sucked, because it didn't tell you what was happening!!!" I mean, that was the point, you weren't supposed to know. That is what makes people keep on thinking about it.

  52. geoff southart says:

    I am a consummate Fringe fan, as I was a fan for Lost. Being 50 something does not stop me from my love for wonderful child like fantasy. I am a hot rodder and did not miss the cool cars in the latest trailer. This movie looks like it will take me back to a time when things were simple and my imagination was wide open.

  53. lenlenlen1 says:

    An original movie that is not based on previous material? YES! FINALLY!!! Very little originality in Hollywood lately. Go J.J.!

  54. Rick Steinau says:

    I saw the trailer a few weeks ago – it stood out among what amounted to be too many trailers about too many unnecessary films. It seemed like it might harken back to "ET" and "The Goonies" – part sci-fi, part mystery, part coming-of-age story, part comedy – then I saw the Spielberg name, and realized that all those things were possible/probable. But the thing that really got my attention was the little kid who was building monster models…he was working on the old Aurora "Hunchback of Notre Dame" kit, which I bulit as a kid (in the 70's). and just just finished rebuilding the Polar Lights reissue (as a much older kid!) in 2011! Someone was clearly paying attention to the interests of adults who were kids in the 60's and 70's, so out of gratitude and curiosity, I'll be going to see this film.

  55. George Pullen says:

    The movie Super8 is going to be an awesome movie. I was on set for 10 days as an extra and I truly enjoyed every moment. this is my first time as an extra and I was thrilled to find it being from J.J.Abrams and Steven Spielberg. it is amazing just how much is involved in the making of such a film. as I have been telling people,I have always been on one side of the screen but now that I have been on the other side,I have a lot of respect for all involved. I met J.J. in person and was well worth that day. I know that the movie goers will truly enjoy it. if you pause the trailer when the window gets blown out of the electronics store,you will see me,I'm the third soldier from the cam. thanks J.J.Abrams for the chance to be part of your movie.

  56. George Gomez says:

    My childhood hobby also was filming in super 8 . I knew Spielberg also had a similar interest as a kid that sparked his future as a film director. There was nothing more exiting than getting your developed roll of super 8 film ( all 5 minutes of it) and playing it in the projector ! I know exactly how Abrams and Spielberg feel about super 8 ,I think we share similar wonderful childhood memories .
    I can't wait to see this movie!

  57. Glenn says:

    I hated mission impossible series till III, Abrams is a film genious, I was reluctant in believing Star Trek could be rebooted till I saw his name on it & damn if I was not blown away. He is what Spielberg was… The greatest new film director & idea man in Hollywood….

  58. LOGIC says:

    i saw something in the trailer its an alien creature not big but small sort of peach in colour kind of like ET BUT not quite .posses many superpowers with elemnts and a taste for dogs.:)

  59. LangrelFilmsDude says:

    JJ first let me thank you, you have inspired me (I am a ameture Film maker).Second I REALLY want to see this movie. (side note: I used to own my own GCF Super 8 Film camera) You Rock

  60. Dan Van Wie says:

    Nice article Geoff. If you are able to forward something to J.J., I thought he might get a kick out an article I just wrote that involves his cast from Fringe.

    Here is the story: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/659304-nfl-dra

    Thanks very much.

  61. Andrew says:

    It's interesting that he says right at the end of the article that there is no other 'product placement' to support this movie, and yet yesterday VALVE one of the most successful videogame companies out there took on assumingly its first project that wasn't eternal. Super 8

  62. StlMike says:

    I've seen what happens when a freight train meets a pickup truck…the train goes merrily along and you pick up truck and pick up truck and pick up truck!

  63. joe says:

    I was in Calif last week and got an opp to see a advanced screening. All i can say is hold on to you hats. This film will knock you for a loop. Awsome film making! The best I've seen in years! You're all in for one hell of a film!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  64. Paula says:

    I'm going to LOVE this movie, I've already decided. And that is all i have to say about that.

  65. robert barber says:

    I hope they show some footage of the creature or alien, Cloverfield was a bust by my standard, it showed very little of the creature. You’d think Hollywood would understand basic movie-making, and not bow to budget constrants. Hope I’m wrong……

  66. John says:

    its captain america!! look at the train door :P

  67. Christian says:

    Please do not let it be another Cloverfield!!!!!!

  68. NJS-11 says:

    Cloverfield was pretty crap but was not made by J.J Abrams, he only produced. In fact he is one of the better sci-fi/action filmakers today so I don't understand the hate.. This will be at least 99% then the crap out there.

  69. Jill says:

    Nice that you corrected Wil's name, but what about Kiefer's?

  70. gregginSarasota says:

    I started making Super 8 movies in the summer of 1970. I would edit the film then add a soundtrack by playing a record. A very short movie set to music. And this was long before MTV and music videos. There was no sound track for the Super 8 medium, so I had to play a record. The short (about 10 – 15 minutes long) films were simple at first, then I incorporated a plot. Most were a little scary, like zombies and we would film "on site" at graveyards, the beach, or my neighborhoood. My neighbors must have thought I was crazy.

  71. william says:

    clover field suckssssssssssssssssssssss worse movie i ever seen in my life sucks sucks sucks sucks stupid movie waste of my time please steven spielberg i hope super 8 is worth it jj stop trying to be like steven spielberg okay thankyou

  72. DEMMHATER says:

    I'd never watch a film from these leftist Democrat spewers of poison. Their range is incredibly shallow. They are saying nothing me or my family want to see or hear.

  73. Tracy says:

    I would watch Kyle Chandler peel potatoes. He is my favorite actor….

  74. Justin says:

    Is "Super 8" a horror movie? Is it appropriate for an 11 year old boy? I Really want to see it but it's only 3 days away! It looks good by the way….

    • noelenecy says:

      Hi Justin! We got to see a sneak preview, and it honestly reminded me of the movies I loved as a 10-year-old, like "E.T." and "The Goonies." Hope that helps! -Noelene Clark/Hero Complex

  75. Ryan says:

    Yeah, now that I know it's the same guy who did Cloverfield, I'm gonna have to pass. Don't have time to waste on a hour and a half of near sights of some monster.

  76. Valerie says:

    I still wonder about the name "supper 8" since it pronounce like "supper E.T." – it seems that Spielberg still interested in this topic.

  77. Joseph L Cooke says:

    One of the best movies this year. Kudos, JJ.

  78. adrian says:

    super 8 is the anti-e.t.,the alien is like the devil,compared to e.t like jesus

  79. Andre de Graaf says:

    If anyone remembers Alien, then you remember the minimalist trailer. I was too young to see the movie when it was released but when I finally saw it years later, I was not disappointed. The movie scared me to death!

  80. emb says:

    I just saw Super 8 and it is brilliant. Best Summer Movie of the Year so far. It gave me that feeling of watching a Speilberg movie circa 1979. Well done!

  81. Jeff says:

    Some say the alien is a metaphor for the Soviets. I say it represents something much more basic and universal. See http://bit.ly/ksm89E but be warned, spoilers abound.

  82. Raphael Santella says:

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  83. Jordan says:

    hey is there a series like super 8?

  84. Drew says:

    what does super 8 alien really look like?

  85. issam abdelhai says:


  86. Kelbo says:

    This is probably my movie of the year – love it! :)

  87. Randy says:

    The characters, their story, and the acting is just beautiful, and the directing makes it even better! And the beautiful acting gets another twist,
    get super 8 full movie here.
    because they make a movie inside the movie, where they have different roles, and they play that personality through their main one… this just cannot be written down, you have to see it to understand.

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