J.J. Abrams goes back to future in "Super 8"

Thu Jun 9, 2011 6:05am EDT
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - J.J. Abrams, the filmmaker behind the TV shows "Alias," "Lost" and the movies "Mission: Impossible III" and "Star Trek," returns to movie theaters on Friday with what he calls his most autobiographical work to date.

Abrams wrote, directed and produced "Super 8," a sci-fi mystery that also boasts the imprimatur of producer Steven Spielberg. The story revolves around a group of kids in a small town in the late '70s who are making a home movie. They witness a train crash and suddenly odd things start happening.

Abrams, 44, talked with Reuters about the strange title, his own childhood, and working with kids.

Q: How is this your most personal film to date?

A. "The original idea of the film was to set it in a time that was based on my own ridiculous experiences making really bad movies as a kid on Super 8. Obviously there is a lot of wild, hyper-real stuff and spectacle in this film that I certainly didn't go through as a kid."

Q: Which one of the kids in the film most represents you?

A: "I was definitely the chubby kid making movies ("Charles," played by Riley Griffiths) but I wasn't as confident and bullish as he is. I was more like the main kid, Joe (Joel Courtney), a little bit of an outsider. I love blowing things up on film, but I wasn't as obsessed about it as Cary (Ryan Lee), the kid in the film."

Q: Elle Fanning was cast as the lone girl in a group of boys. Did they all have crushes on her?   Continued...