"Do not speak of this. If you do, it will find you..."
The wall of silence surrounding JJ Abrams and Steven Spielberg's summer sci-fi movie Super 8 is finally beginning to fall with the unveiling of a 30-second Super Bowl ad AND a revealing new interview with the writer-director.
Up until now, all we had to go on was a teaser trailer that gave tantalizing clues about the alien-on-the-loose plot but ultimately gave nothing away. We know it's about small town kids and some kind of escaped alien, plus that it is a bit of a throwback to Spielberg's 1980s Amblin output, but that's about it.
Now the TV spot fills in a few blanks.
Starting with your typical shots of a small American town - the sun setting next to a pylon, Main Street USA - it cuts to the train crash we saw in the first teaser.
We then get shots of the kids escaping the train wreckage amid spectacular explosions, flying metal and spinning train carriages. The shot from the teaser of the container being battered from the inside comes next before we get shots of the military with flame throwers - presumably decontaminating the town.
The trailer ends with a flurry of money shots and the ominous voiceover: "Do not speak of this. If you do, it will find you..." - lights flickering, residents fleeing, the kids (one in zombie make-up) creating their Super 8 movie, Kyle Chandler in his deputy sheriff's uniform, a house exploding, the kids running away from something, Chandler hugging his son, shop fronts exploding around soldiers (who appear to be transfixed - or taken over? - but something), a shop worker being dragged through the aisles of a store by some unseen force, a bus overturning and finally more shots of the town being bombarded by a rain of fire.
The spot ends with a flash of images, none of which I could figure out, but probably mean a lot to fans of the viral marketing campaign that has been on the go for months now.
All in all, pretty spectacular, but see for yourselves.
Pretty cool huh? You can watch it in glorious HD here
If that wasn't enough Super 8 news, the LA Times has published a surprisingly long interview with Abrams where he opens up a bit about the movie:
Abrams says: “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.”
But what about the plot? The LA Times' Geoff Boucher was given a glimpse of the first 30 minutes and described it the storyline:
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.
Okay, so the plot revelations aren't a million miles away from what has already been hinted at, but the most interesting thing about the article is the little details, including the fact that Abrams didn't just consult with Spielberg about getting the right vibe for his coming-of-age film - he also spoke with Rob Reiner, director of what I consider to be THE best rites of passage film of the 80s, Stand By Me.
There's no quotes from Spielberg in the article, but he is mentioned.
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 whose lost his mother and the man whose 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.”
Read the full article here