Super 8, J.J. Abrams' tribute to 1970s science fiction films, is shrouded in mystery. Much like Abrams' monster hit, Cloverfield, the film is already carrying plenty of industry buzz - without having to rely on giving anything big away.
While the Super 8 story and special effects are still a mystery, other aspects of the filmmaking process are harder to keep under lock and key - such as casting choices.
Vulture reports that Kyle Chandler (Friday Night Lights) and Elle Fanning (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button) have signed on to roles in the Abrams/Spielberg team-up.
Details on the film's plot are on a tight leash but the general outline is expected to follow a group of children who inadvertently catch footage of an alien life-form on amateur 8mm film.
Back in May, a potential Super 8 casting sheet was sent to Bloody Disgusting. Today, with the possibility of Elle Fanning joining the project, the casting sheet is looking a bit more credible.
"Natalie: Female 13-14. A natural beauty — she is stunning, but not the 'cheerleader' type. Strong and confident, but has an underlying sadness. Should have a Midwestern feel."
Could Elle Fanning be playing Natalie? If so, expect two more leading-kids in the film:
"Josh: Male 13-14. Josh is cute, but could be on the scrawny side – definitely not the school jock. Loveable, empathetic, smart and interesting. Must have a great sense of humor. Should have a Midwestern feel."
"Collin: Male 13-14. Slightly, or more than slightly, overweight. Collin is confident, driven, optimistic and a natural leader. Must have a great sense of humor. Should have a Midwestern feel."
Despite all the age-bending in Hollywood, it's unlikely that Kyle Chandler is up for the role of Josh or Collin. Given the amount of young actors in the film, there's a better chance he'll be playing a parent. Considering the tone of the first trailer, it's hard to imagine the Super 8 alien is going to be ET-friendly - meaning we're going to need some ass-kicking (or at least car-driving) grown ups in the mix.
Both Chandler and Fanning (yes, Dakota Fanning's younger sister) have proven their acting chops in high-profile, and critically acclaimed, roles. Chandler's performance as Coach Taylor on Friday Night Lights is one of the primary reasons the show managed to beat back cancellation for as long as it did. Fanning has been a go-to child actor for a number of celebrated drama roles including Reservation Road and Babel.
Super 8 will be unleashed in the Summer of 2011.