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super 8

Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams: How Their Minds Work Alike

Judging from the fanboy freak-out that resulted from the news that Steven Spielberg and J.J. Abrams would be collaborating on the (apparent) alien film Super 8, which opens summer 2011, it was as if an ancient prophecy had finally been fulfilled. The two men — both genre legends, powerful producers, and pop legends — are kindred spirits; whether you're talking about the stylistic, thematic, and narrative tropes that Abrams has embraced from growing up with Spielberg’s films, or other influences that have deeply affected them both, their movies feel crafted from the same mind. So as production for Super 8 gears up in West Virginia, with Spielberg producing and Abrams writing and directing — and Kyle Chandler and Elle Fanning just cast! — we decided to survey the two men’s work and show their shared calling cards, from a love of The Twilight Zone and vehicular homicide to their ever-present daddy issues and abiding love of the literal cliffhanger.