A Shot by Shot Description of the SUPER 8 Teaser Trailer; Steven Spielberg Is Producing, J.J. Abrams Is Directing

     May 6, 2010

Earlier this week we learned that Iron Man 2 has a top secret trailer for a film called Super 8, a J.J. Abrams (Star Trek) project.  Then details leaked that the trailer featured an alien and was set in the 1970s; it was rumored to be a Cloverfield prequel, but that was debunked by Abrams yesterday.

A very enlightening rundown of each shot of the mysterious trailer has hit the net. Since some of you might not want to know what the trailer shows or what the film is about, everything is after the jump.  Saying that, it sounds like everyone will be talking about this project after the trailer starts to show tonight with Iron Man 2.

It turns out that Abrams is will write and direct Super 8 and Steven Spielberg is credited as producer, suggesting that Super 8 is the Spielberg homage we reported on last week.

Since you can see the trailer in theaters starting tonight at midnight showings of Iron Man 2, you may want to hold off so you can bask in the full experience of the trailer.  Otherwise, hit the jump for all the spoilery details.

Here’s the description from /Film’s source:

The trailer lasts about one minute and a half.

It begins with the Green MPAA screen, followed by the Paramount Pictures logo. No Bad Robot at the header.

A train rushes by the screen. We notice that it has lots of cargo.

Text comes on the screen: “In 1979, The U.S. Air Force Closed A Section of AREA 51.”

We see the railroad crossing light blinking and ringing as the camera pans up we see some sort of light moving in the background. What is it? A UFO?

More Text: “All The Materials Were To Be Transported To A Secure Facility In Ohio.”

No, it appears to be the headlights of a yellow 1970’s truck, which skids in a 180 degree motion, and suddenly pulls onto the tracks.

Point of view of the truck heading into the light.

Black screen and white text: “From Producer Steven Spielberg”

We see the truck explode as it hits the train.

Then… the cargo train is heading towards the car explosion – BAM. It is wrecked, thrown from the tracks like a wild snake. The flaming metal body flipping towards the camera. Cars flying through the air. It is INTENSE.

Another black screen and the text: “And Director JJ Abrams”

The camera really slowly moves in on the wrecked pieces of the train, most of which is now just scrap metal. At least one car remains intact.

Black screen, white test: “Next Summer”

We see some sparks.

Black screen, white text: “It Arrives”

We pull up on one of the train cars with a US Air Force logo. The wheel on the door begins to spin out of control as we pull in closer. The wall of the door begins to bend like some huge force is punching it from the inside.

Cut to one second of a close up of an 8mm camera lens.

Cut to black. White text: “Super 8″

The credits at the end were pretty bare.

Paramount Pictures Presents, An Amblin Entertainment/Bad Robot Production

“Super 8″

Produced By Steve Spielberg JJ Abrams Bryan Burk

Written and Directed by JJ Abrams

And the bottom featured the Amblin Entertainment, Bad Robot and Paramount Pictures Logo.

This is pretty much the ideal union between the alien-centric trailer and the rumored Spielberg project that have both been attributed to Abrams in the past week or so.  Note that it’s an Amblin picture (rather than, say, a DreamWorks production); that name, especially in conjunction with Spielberg, means something in the world of family-friendly sci fi/fantasy.  With Spielberg and Abrams as the head of the storytelling committee, I can’t imagine we’re in for anything less than a complete delight for all the senses.  Likewise, the promise of “next summer” is fantastic.  It makes sense, but it hadn’t occurred to me that this project would be hitting theaters so soon, relatively speaking.

A bit curiously, these events seem to have no relation to an earlier reports on the events of the trailer.  For comparison:

“Insiders familiar with the trailer tell us that it shows a bunch of kids who are shooting a movie with a Super 8 camera in the seventies or eighties.  When they develop the film, they notice that there’s an alien creature in the frame.”

This description was from Vulture, who were indeed wrong about the Cloverfield connection.  But the time period and extraterrestrial nature are spot on . . . Perhaps there multiple trailers attached to the various Iron Man 2 prints currently scattered across the nation?  That sounds like vintage Abrams marketing to me.  Even if you can’t make it to a midnight showing of Iron Man 2, I’m sure details will hit Twitter and the like at about 12:05 AM EST courtesy of some arguably rude theater patrons.

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