‘Super’ secret is out

Par reveals Abrams, Spielberg project after Web buzz

It turns out it is possible to keep a secret in Hollywood — almost.

J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg have been working on Abrams’ next film, “Super 8,” for more than a year, but it was only in recent days that information about the Paramount project began surfacing on the Internet.

Bloggers claimed the film was a sequel to Abrams’ monster pic “Cloverfield,” when it is in fact an original pic based on an idea by Abrams, who is penning the script. Unlike “Cloverfield,” the pic will be shot conventionally, not with handheld cameras.

On Thursday, Par officially announced the project, saying “Super 8” will be released in summer 2011 and that it will be Abrams’ next film.

Also Thursday, Par announced it will release Tom Cruise topliner “Mission: Impossible 4” on Dec. 16, 2011. Brad Bird (“Ratatouille,” “The Incredibles”) is in talks to direct.

A trailer for “Super 8” is attached to Par’s “Iron Man 2,” which opened at 12:01 a.m. today. It hints that the movie has alien elements, bearing the warning: “In 1979, the U.S. Air Force closed a section of Area 51. All the materials were to be a transported to a secure facility in Ohio.” There’s footage of a tremendous collision between a train and a pickup truck; amid the wreckage is a U.S. Air Force container with something inside that’s trying to get out.

Abrams, who is producing with Spielberg, begins lensing “Super 8” this fall. He’ll follow that with the “Star Trek” sequel, which hits theaters in 2012.

Logline for “Super 8” is being kept under wraps, except to say it is inspired by Abrams’ favorite movies growing up, including some of Spielberg’s. Insiders say “Super 8” is a very personal project.

Producers are Abrams and his partner at Bad Robot, Bryan Burk. Spielberg is producing via Amblin Entertainment.

Production budget is between $45 million and $50 million.

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