J.J. Abrams Collaborating With Steven Spielberg On Next Movie?

We've known that J.J. Abrams had a movie in mind to make for Paramount — thanks to Brad Grey for talking about it in nebulous terms back in December — but we haven't known any real details about it. Now, however, there is some interesting info. Supposedly Abrams, the guy who masterminded Cloverfield in addition to a couple of TV shows you might have heard of, has a plan for a feature that will be a serious homage to the '70s and early '80s movies of Steven Spielberg. Intrigued? Yeah, so are we.

Vulture says that Abrams has planned "a tribute to and a collaboration with Steven Spielberg." Note the word 'collaboration.' Their scoop says Abrams is finishing a script that is "a tip of the hat" to the Spielberg films of the late '70s and early '80s, and that he plans to direct it.

No surprise, the plot details are secret — to be expected after Cloverfield, really. But if he's really working in that particular Spielberg mode, we can expect generally realistic, everyday characters thrust up against the unknown and the spectacular.

According to Vulture, Abrams is talking to Spielberg, with the idea of him being involved in the film as an adviser or executive producer. That is, this is more than your typical 'at a distance' homage. Which, when you think about it, is pretty neat.

The report also says that this film will have a low budget, if not Cloverfield's shaky-cam style. One source calls it the "anti-Avatar," which could mean anything, but probably means that Abrams is hoping to achieve some sort of world-building and creation of the otherworldly without spending upwards of $300m. I like it. I want to know more. We'll forward details as they come.

(A note: yes, I used the same photo of Abrams and Spielberg that Vulture used, from LIFE Magazine. It's the only one of the two of them I could find, and how could I not use it? They look almost like father and son. There's a resemblance I've never noticed until looking at this pic now.)

((I'll also take a moment to point out Abrams's presentation that is available at TED, in which he talks about E.T. and Jaws, as part of a larger talk about a fascination with mysteries.))