Ready for a third story featuring Paramount Pictures’ Super 8? No? What’s wrong with you (or maybe it’s just me?)
The LA Times caught up with director J.J. Abrams who finally gives us an idea of what we’ll see in theaters on June 10. This is the first time anyone involved has gone on record.
All we’ve heard, via Vulture, was that the Abrams/Steven Spielberg-Amblin collaboration is that it is said to follow a bunch of kids who are shooting a movie with a Super 8 camera in the seventies or eighties – and when they develop the film they notice that there’s an alien creature in the frame. Want to know more? Sure you do! Read on for the skinny, and to re-watch the Super Bowl TV spot (again), because you know you love it.
First and foremost, what’s the movie about? What’s at stake?
“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,” Abrams told the LA Times. “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.”
The Times themselves were privy to more plot details as they lead in some quotes with this juicy tidbit:
“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.”
We all know it’s about a monster, but what’s the exact subgenre? Is it a sci-fi thriller, horror, or maybe a drama? Abrams explains: “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.”
Continuing on about the film’s drive, Abrams adds: “This is a movie about overcoming loss and finding your way again and finding your own voice…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.”
But Abrams speaks the truth when is reflects on the nature of promoting a movie that’s NOT a franchise. “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.”
The footage below was the first ever shown, and it premiered during tonight’s Superbowl XLV. What do you guys think of everything you’ve heard and seen thus far?