super 8

An Up-to-the-Minute Tracker of All Super 8 Leaks, Viral Hints, News, and Spoilers

Every day a little more news trickles out about J.J. Abrams’s mysterious next movie, Super 8, due next summer and just starting to shoot now in West Virginia: Some of these nuggets come out against his will, some news is carefully leaked, and some are the kind of cryptic viral hints that Abrams and his company, Bad Robot, are known for mischievously dribbling out in advance of new projects. We think we know the basic plot (no thanks to Abrams!): Indicators point to it being about a cargo train from Area 51 — which was transporting something alien and alive — crashing outside a small Midwestern town in 1979, and a group of teens who capture it on film while messing about with a home movie camera. (You can even see one of those kids in a flash-frame towards the end of the trailer.) But we’re hungry to find out more. As such, Vulture will be tracking all the teasers, hints, and spoilers and updating this slideshow as they trickle out. (Don’t worry: all spoilers will be carefully marked.) Here’s what we know so far …

First came the teaser trailer, released before Iron Man 2 in May and shot long before Abrams began principal photography. At the end of it, as we’re looking at the broken camera lens, a series of letters rapid-fire their way across the glass. Together, they spell “Scariest Thing I Ever Saw.” Add a “” at the end of that, and it’ll take you to …
There are two Xs on those old newspaper pages: If you flip the pages, align the Xs, and hold the pages up to the light, the following words appear to be highlighted: “No certainty if alive, may be after us, we go underground.”
Paramount announced a casting call for a film called “Darlings” — which is one of two cover names for Super 8, the other being “Wickham”. The call targeted three teen leads: Josh, Collin, and Natalie. The would-be stars must “have great energy and a wonderful sense of humor and thoughtfulness.” Oh, and should “have a Midwestern feel.”
According to Production Weekly, Super 8 will start shooting in late September in Weirton, West Virginia. An AP report ) also states that much of the filming will take place on Main Street and will go for two or three months. UPDATE: On September 20, an spy snapped photos of Weirton’s makeover into the seventies-era fictional town of Lillian, Ohio.
On September 17, Vulture learned the first two people cast in the film:Friday Night Lights’ Kyle Chandler and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’s Elle Fanning. We haven’t yet learned what they’ll play, but it seems logical that Fanning would play Natalie, one of the three siblings who likely catch the alien in their viewfinder. As for Chandler, we’re assuming he’d play their dad, just because he’s so damn dadlike on FNL and we don’t want to live in a world in which he plays an oily FBI man attempting to wrest the footage from the children. UPDATE: Three days later, more cast members were announced by The Hollywood Reporter: Joining Chandler and Channing will be Ron Eldard, Noah Emmerich, and Gabriel Basso (Laura Linney’s son on The Big C).
One fine resident of Weirton, West Virginia, where Abrams is currently filming, did a little on-set filming himself, recording one of the movie’s night shoots. What hints can be gleaned from the five-minute result? Sure to appear in Super 8 are seventies cars, military jeeps, tanks, lots of soldiers, gun fire, actual fire, and wet streets. Still unseen: The teenagers who, possibly accidentally, capture an alien on film. And, of course, the alien itself.
An Up-to-the-Minute Tracker of All Super 8 Leaks, Viral Hints, News, and Spoilers