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Photography underway for Speilberg’s

By Staff | Sep 30, 2010

Secrecy’s veil has started falling as casting announcements have appeared in the Hollywood Reporter for the film shooting in Weirton. Although official releases gave the title “Wickham,” the production does not appear on any database for upcoming films. That fueled the “suspicion” that it was a “fake” title for a major production.

Crews have been converting downtown Weirton to 1979 (does that sound familiar, Huntington? Remember Fourth Avenue’s “We Are Marshall” 1970 retro look?) when the J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek”) directed “Super 8” starts calling “sound speed” prior to the “action.”

Principle photography began Monday, Sept. 20 in Weirton, according to Paramount.

Kyle (“Day the Earth Stood Still,” “The Kingdom,” and TV’s “Friday Night Lights”) Chandler and Elle (“Babel,” “Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “Somewhere”) Fanning have landed the leads.

But here’s two more of the “A” list of behind the scene filmmakers: Larry Fong (“Watchman,” “300”; TV’s “Lost”), cinematographer; Maryann Brandon (“How to Train Your Dragon,” “Star Trek,” “Mission Impossible III”), editor. Already confirmed, J.J. Abrams (“Star Trek,” “Mission Impossible III,” “Cloverfield”) directs, wrote the screenplay, and is producing, along with his Bad Robot partner Bryan Burk and Steven Spielberg.

As for the remaining cast, Ron (“Blackhawk Down”) Eldard, Noah (“The Truman Show”) Emmerich, Gabriel (TV’s “The Big C”) Basso, Zach (“Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium”) Mills, and newcomers Joel Courtney, Riley Griffiths, Ryan Lee round out the main cast.

“Super 8” pays homage to Spielberg’s science-fiction flicks of the ’70s, such as “E.T.” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” The concept has some kids messing with a Super 8 camera and they capture “something” otherworldly.

Set in 1979, the U.S. Air Force closed a section of Area 51, all the materials were transported to a secure facility in Ohio. Then, all hell breaks loose when the train derails in a fiery crash and the residents of a small town have their personal relationships tested when they are thrown up against extraordinary, fantastic, and possibly other-worldly events.

The film will hit theaters summer 2011.

Contact Tony at trutherford@graffitiwv.com