CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical
Elle Fanning, Kyle ChandlerA closely guarded "secret" movie has allowed a little light to shine in -- emphasis on "little." Following the pattern he set with 'Cloverfield,' director J.J. Abrams has kept the upcoming 'Secret 8' shrouded in mystery. Cast members have now been confirmed and shooting in West Virginia has begun, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which adds to the little we know. We've also got more tidbits from the local newspaper.

As early reports had it, Kyle Chandler and Elle Fanning will star; given their respective ages, we can guess that they might play a father and daughter, or the dysfunctional family equivalent. Chandler has been wonderful as a football coach, husband and father in TV's 'Friday Night Lights.' Before that he was the cowardly actor in Peter Jackson's 'King Kong' and an earnest hero in another TV series, 'Early Edition.' Fanning began to emerge from the shadow of her older sister Dakota with her role in 'Phoebe in Wonderland,' and we've heard good things about her performance in Sophia Coppola's upcoming 'Somewhere.' Still, she's only 12 years of age.

Ron Eldard
Where You Know Him From: He's been reliably solid over the years; most notably, he brought an edge of menace to his romance with Jennifer Connelly in 'House of Sand and Fog.'

Noah Emmerich
Where You Know Him From: He was terrific as the lead character's best friend in 'The Truman Show' and, like Eldard, can be depended upon to provide good support, as he did in 'Pride and Glory' (the possibly corrupt cop) and 'Little Children' (the obsessed ex-cop).

Gabriel Basso
Where You Know Him From: The young actor is currently appearing in Showtime's 'The Big C' as Laura Linney's obstinate son; he is convincingly moody and not terribly sympathetic to his mother.

Zach Mills
Where You Know Him From: He's been a busy child actor, making impressions in 'Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium' (as the toy store's most loyal customer) and 'Kit Kittredge: An Americal Girl' (as one of Kit's friends).

Joel Courtney
Where You Know Him From: We've linked to the likeliest suspect, a young actor whose resume says he can play 11-14 (or, around the same age as Fanning) but who doesn't appear to have any credits. Alternatively, it could be the first studio production for the other Joel Courtney, who has a couple of credits to his name.

Ryan Lee
Where You Know Him From: Multiple actors have the same name, so we're not sure which one this is.

Riley Griffiths
Where You Know Him/Her From: Appears to be an unknown commodity. Frankly, we're not even sure if Riley is male or female at this point.

Weirton, West Virginia



What else do we know: The local newspaper, 'Weirton Daily Times,' says that the film is set in 1979 -- apparently confirming earlier rumors -- and talked with a business owner who was told that her shop, renamed "Cathy's Snack Shop," will be the setting for "one of the main parts of the movie."

One more tidbit: the local ambulance service says they were contacted by Paramount Pictures because they were "looking for individuals with a military, paramedic and EMT look about them." The plot supposedly has something to do with materials being transported from Area 51 to a secure facility in Ohio; something goes wrong and, perhaps, something gets loose. So that would fit.

We also know the film will be a throwback to the old Amblin Entertainment movies like 'E.T.' and 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind'. Steven Spielberg is also producing.

Will 'Super 8' be more like 'The Blob' than 'Cloverfield'? Stay tuned. The film is set for release in Summer 2011.