Writer/director J.J. Abrams is teaming up with production maestro Steven Spielberg on a new mystery project, Super 8, that promises to pay homage to Spielberg’s older sci-fi/alien pics like Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial.

New amateur footage from the set of Super 8 reveals in part how the film will do just that: with a 1970s setting, vintage (stunt) cars and army vehicles to boot.

Details concerning the plot of Super 8 are being kept largely under wraps, but we know that it deals in part with a group of kids who inadvertently shoot footage of an alien life-form via 8 mm film. It is not clear yet whether the movie will be a mockumentary in the handicam style of Cloverfield – which Abrams says is unrelated in terms of story – but we suspect Super 8 will have more of a professional look overall.

There’s never been much question about whether or not the extra-terrestrial(s) in Super 8 would be of a more docile or violent nature, but the latter seems all but assured, if only because of all the tanks and army vehicles on display in the new footage – which can be viewed below – from the Super 8 set (NOTE: The cameraman uses some NSFW language, but you won’t miss anything important by just watching it on mute):

The style and design of the tanks and U.S. army jeeps on display in this video brings to mind the 1950s film adaptation of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds – which Spielberg eventually remade himself back in 2005. The small town setting for Super 8 should help give the events that occur in the film more of a personal feel, a la Signs, and prevent it from feeling like more of a globe-spanning invasion pic in the vein of Independence Day or the upcoming Skyline – even though the latter actually takes place in the city of Los Angeles.

Will moviegoers be a little tired of aliens wrecking havoc on Earth by the time Super 8 arrives next year? We do have Skyline and Battle: Lost Angeles on the horizon as well, but Abrams’ alien pic looks and sounds like something quite different from those two films – if nothing else, it should help pass the time before Abrams gets to work on his highly-anticipated sci-fi sequel, Star Trek 2.

Super 8 is scheduled to hit theaters in Summer 2011.

Source: wblankenship