Contrary to previous reports, the mystery J.J. Abrams movie for which a trailer is premiering tonight with prints of Iron Man 2 is going to be that sci-fi project he's collaborating on with Steven Spielberg after all!
According to The Hollywood Reporter's Heat Vision blog, the movie, called Super 8, has been written and will be directed by Abrams, with Spielberg producing. It will be shot this fall on a budget of around $45 million to $50 million and will be released via Paramount next summer.
Hitfix broke the story about the "mystery" project earlier this week, reporting that the trailer would run in front of Iron Man 2 and that the movie was possibly linked to Cloverfield, the monster movie shot on hand-held video, which Abrams' Bad Robot company released in January 2008 after a similar campaign of secrecy.
Just a few days before, however, word came that Abrams and Spielberg would collaborate on a film that was described as Abrams' tribute to Spielberg classics like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Jaws. While it was initially assumed that the two projects were separate, it's now confirmed that they are one and the same. (Abrams also discounted any connection with Cloverfiled.)
So what is Super 8 all about? Abrams is keeping the plot under wraps, but it's based on an idea about kids playing around in 1979 with Super 8 movie cameras and accidentally capturing something frightening on film. Heat Vision says the concept is based on Abrams' and Spielberg's own childhood experiences of experimenting with Super 8 gear as fledgling filmmakers.
As for what's in the 90-second teaser trailer itself, which Abrams also directed, no one's officially giving anything away. But if this report at Film Popper is true, it has to do with something being shipped aboard a train from Nevada's infamous Area 51 to a secure facility somewhere else ... and never getting there (we won't spoil it any more than that).
Alien monsters running loose on Earth, from the minds of Abrams and Spielberg? Summer 2011—which already has Thor, Transformers 3, Captain America: The First Avenger and more on the schedule—just got a whole lot more interesting!
(The trailer has been bootlegged and uploaded to YouTube. We won't embed it here as we have a strict policy against posting pirated videos.)