Spy Photos From The Set Of J.J. Abrams' 'Super 8'

Since May, when the trailer for the J.J. Abrams directed, Steven Spielberg film Super 8 was released with Iron Man 2, the whole movie blogosphere has been clamoring for additional information. Last week, news broke that Kyle Chandler and Elle Fanning had been cast in the film and today, spy photos have surfaced from Marland Heights area of Weirton, West Virginia that will be posing for Lillian, Ohio circa 1979 when the film stars shooting this week.

Hit the jump to check out the photos and go over what we do know about Super 8.

Here's what we know about Super 8. First of all, there's the teaser trailer.

Then there are these facts:

  • It is not a Cloverfield sequel or prequel.
  • It will not be shot or distributed in 3D.
  • It is written and directed by JJ Abrams.
  • It is being produced by Steven Spielberg, along with Bryan Burk and Abrams
  • It will be released in 2011 as an Amblin Entertainment (not Dreamworks) release (Paramount Pictures Distributing, Bad Robot Producing)
  • This will be an homage/tribute to Spielberg's 1970's/1980's Amblin films, like Close Encounters of a Third Kind and E.T. Imagine combining that with the characters, mystery and supernatural spin of Abrams.
  • It takes place in the late 1979.
  • The trailer was shot independently of the film a month ago, and the special effects were done under the cover of Abrams new NBC series Undercovers.
  • The film's actual budget is in the range of $45 million-$50 million.
  • It will be shot traditionally, and not through a handheld Super 8 Camera ala Cloverfield.
  • It will be released in Summer 2011. The release date could be May 27, 2011. I say this because Paramount, just today, pushed Mission Impossible 4 out of that date, and back to December, leaving the slot open.
  • HeatVision says that actual movie has something to do with "the possibility that a group of kids in 1979 are playing around making movies with their Super 8 cameras (as Abrams and Spielberg did as kids) and accidentally capture something ... sinister, on film." This certainly gels with Vulture's original theory on the trailer.
  • Paramount put out an open casting call looking to cast unknowns for the lead roles.
  • J.J. commented about working on the film with Spielberg at Comic-Con "It's unbelievable.  It really is surreal.  I mean because there is a genre element to the movie, it's impossible to work with him and not constantly reference the work he has done, and you don't want to sound like you are being a sicko fan.  But it's been incredible, and he's been beyond helpful.  And the movie is, I think, very much in the spirit of some of the Amblin films that he made years ago.  So it is a dream come true.  And I couldn't imagine working on something that is more sort of personal and also hyper real.  It's not like the movie is some kind of autobiography, but there is a lot of stuff in it that feels very personal."
  • And now, we have these set photos which are from the area where the open casting call happened. There are even more photos over at Ain't It Cool News, where they originated. Head over there to check out the rest.

    So what, if anything, do these photos additionally reveal? We certainly get a sense of small town America from the past. But other than that, who knows?