Am I allowed to use a trailer as my ‘Picture of the Week‘? Of course, I am. It’s my blog, and nobody’s checking. Yesterday, American viewers of Iron Man 2 were treated to a “surprise” trailer for J.J. Abrams forthcoming collaboration with Steven Spielberg, entitled Super 8. Despite rumours that this was the teaser for a Cloverfield prequel, echoing the way that film had been unveiled without warning in an untitled ad preceding the far less interesting Transformers movie, this has proven not to be the case. Abrams gave away enough before screenings to confirm that this was not the case. But it might as well be. Although it gives away more than the Cloverfield trailer did (the first one didn’t even have a title on it), Abrams is still messing around with monsters and mystery. The trailer shows a pick-up truck causing an apparently deliberate derailment of a train carrying materials seized at “Area 51”. The use of that phrase immediately clues you in to a film about aliens (I kind of wish they hadn’t said anything so obvious indicative of the finished product). The final image is off something thumping at the walls from inside one of the carriages, about to escape and reveal itself.
I’m hoping it will be more interesting than another tale of alien cover-ups in Nevada – Spielberg has covered that extensively in Taken, and Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity) releases his own Area 51 later this year, about a group of teenagers uncovering the government conspiracy to conceal the evidence of alien visitors. Rumour has it that Super 8 will also be told from the point of view of teenagers who accidentally capture an alien on film while playing in the woods with a cine-camera.
Slashfilm has a fairly comprehensive list of stuff that is known about the film so far, most notably that the trailer was shot a month ago, independently of the film (the Cloverfield trailer was also shot before any of the rest of the film), under the pretense that the special effects were for Abrams’ forthcoming TV show, Undercovers (also prepping Star Trek 2, and having just overseen the completion of Lost, he’s obviously a busy guy).