Paramount Pictures announced that J.J. Abrams’ incredibly secretive summer blockbuster “Super 8” began shooting today in an undisclosed location (although photos did leak from the Marland Heights area of Weirton, West Virginia). The “Star Trek” filmmaker is known for his clandestine nature during production, but we were still impressed that 10 big facts were revealed in the studio’s Monday press release.
1. Um, principal photography began today.
2. There still isn’t a set release date. Paramount Pictures is keeping its options open with “Summer 2011.”
3. Kyle Chandler of “Friday Night Lights” fame is playing the big male lead.
4. Elle Fanning is slowly equalling her sister in Steven Spileberg associated movies as one of the pictures’ female leads. And no, we can’t confirm she plays Chandler’s daughter. That’s pure conjecture on our part.
5. J.J. Abrams appears to have written the screenplay all by himself. He hasn’t had been given sole credit since “Forever Young” back in the day in 1992.
6. Noah Emmerich (“Little Children”) has been cast in a secondary role. We can easily declare that any scene he is in for “Super 8” will be better than his entire part in the godawful “Trust” that just played at the Toronto Film Festival.
7. Gabriel Basso has gone from landing his first TV series (“The Big C”) to his first movie — a J.J. Abrams movie no less — in a span of only nine months.
8. Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths and Ryan Lee have all singularly had the biggest breaks of their careers with supporting roles in the flick. Zach Mills? He has the impressive credit of playing a “news vendor” in Clint Eastwood’s “The Changeling” (hey, the kid’s 14).
9. Incredibly, Brad Grey has agreed to pay Steven Spielberg for a new project even after all of the drama of DreamWorks’ split with Paramount.
10. Cinematographer Larry Fong has done great work with Zack Snyder, coming off of the very cool looking “Sucker Punch” and, of course, “Watchmen.” No, that wasn’t in the press release, but we were so close to making it to 10. Thanks IMDB for putting us over the top!
And that’s it. That’s all we still know about J.J. Abrams “Super 8.” Well, that’s all we know officially. Stay tuned.