October 21, 2016
        "Manchester by the Sea" leads the Gotham Award nominations                Tom Ford, Marc Platt and Kenneth Lonergan to be Honored at 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Tom Cruise is in his action hero comfort zone with "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back"                "Moonlight" could be A24's big Oscar horse this year                Ewan McGregor steps behind the camera with "American Pastoral"                Hollywood Contenders: A second crack at Golden Globe predictions for 2016                "The Accountant" seeks to help give Ben Affleck another blockbuster                85 countries will be competing for Best Foreign Language Feature nominations at the Oscars                Tom Hanks to receive Hollywood Actor Award for "Sully" @ Hollywood Film Awards                "Certain Women" showcases Laura Dern, Kristen Stewart, and Michelle Williams                Ben Affleck is perhaps Hollywood's biggest and most diverse superstar                "The Birth of a Nation" looks to survive controversy and contend for awards                "The Girl on the Train" hopes to transport Emily Blunt to the Oscar race                "The Jungle Book," "Zootopia" and Craft Artists to be Honored at the 20th Annual Hollywood Film Awards                Ben Affleck's "Live By Night" officially is a 2016 contender        

J.J. Abrams could tease secret film “Super 8” ahead of “Iron Man 2”

By Sean O’Connell
J.J. Abrams could be one of the busiest writers-producers-directors working in the industry today. The only problem is we’re never 100% sure what projects he’s working on.

Sure, there are the over-the-counter efforts Abrams wants his audience to know about, like when he’s successfully rebooting the “Star Trek” franchise with a younger cast, or executive producing “Lost” for ABC. There’s also “Undercovers,” a scripted television series for NBC (that was picked up yesterday) which stars Boris Kodjoe and Gugu Mbatha-Raw as married spies.

And then there are the “secret” projects Abrams likes to spring on his audience … like when he pulled the curtains back on “Cloverfield” (which he produced) and turned the “monster movie” concept on its head to appeal to the YouTube generation. Whispers about an Abrams collaboration with Steven Spielberg have floated around the Web in the past few days, but HitFix might have dug up further details on what Abrams has up its sleeve, and when we might get to see it. (It’s much sooner than you think!)

“When audiences sit down for screenings of ‘Iron Man 2’ this weekend, they’re going to see trailers for other summer movies that they’ve already heard of, and then they’ll also get their first look at a movie that Abrams is producing via a teaser trailer he directed, much like the teaser trailer that announced ‘Cloverfield’ to an unsuspecting audience in front of ‘Transformers,'” writes Drew McWeeny on HitFix.

But what is “Super 8”? McWeeny addresses rumors that it is a “Cloverfield” sequel, and that Abrams will produce but not direct. Which is very possible. Abrams was fond of saying, even while promoting “Star Trek,” that you could tell multiple “Cloverfield” stories just by following different characters around Manhattan on the evening the Cloverfield creature attacked the city. And the title Super 8 could suggest the kind of camera the new characters are using to record their terrifying adventures.

Expect a lot more news about “Super 8” to explode on the Internet this Friday, when “Iron Man 2” opens and people get their first look at the teaser trailer. But I’m thrilled. I miss the days when Hollywood could hide its best-kept secrets from prying eyes, and the movie-going experience wasn’t spoiled by leaked images and grainy online trailers.

All I can say now is, “Well played, Mr. Abrams.”

About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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