Scene Black – an ominous rustling.
Audio: A door creaks, footsteps echo. A match is struck and a middle-aged film director lights and turns up a gas lamp to reveal…
Abrams: Dr Spielberg!
Spielberg turns in alarm, clutching a wad of different papers of which many flutter to the laboratory ground. Adjusting his spectacles he peers to recognise his assistant.
Spielberg: Abrams! Oh Abrams..our work – my work – soon..soon my son, all will be complete. All will be revealed..
Spielberg rushes towards his colleague, a great cloud of multi coloured scripts blowing up around him.
Spielberg: My perfect creation – a miracle
He stands back to proclaim
Spielberg: Not a film – not an ordinary movie: but a super-film – an indestructible monster film constructed entirely from the dismembered themes of all of my life’s work.
Spielberg’s little round glasses glint a mad glint as he raises a fistfull of script to the air in triumph, before turning on his heel back to his editing suite
Abrams follows across the damp cobbled floor, wading through great piles of old script from ET, The Goonies, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and at one point, Jaws. Battling shock, he fishes amongst the debris and openly boggles at a torn and faded direction from Duel. He turns to his master.
Abrams: Steven – what have you done?
Spielberg: Done? Done? Why, what have I not done? What do I not deserve? The world, my son! The world is ours! And with my indestructible patchwork monster, I will create a race of atomic supermen, that will conquer that world!
Abrams peers around Spielberg’s editing bench and, frowning, picks up a stuffed toy of Sebulba from Star Wars perched on a Transfomers DVD
Abrams: What the…?
Spielberg: Oh don’t worry that’s just the face. But wait – wait until you see the rest of it…
Striding across the laboratory to a central plinth, Spielberg stands rapt beside a dusty canvas blanket.
Spielberg: Behold – Super – 8!
Spielberg whisks off the cloth to reveal a cooking-book size film script. Abrams joins him and picks up the strange looking offering. Visible stitch-marks can be seen all through its pages where characters, scenes and ideas from all of Steven Spielbergs biggest budget films have been forced together to create a hideous, mis-shapen, but stupidly powerful monster movie.
Abrams recoils as a sickly, glue-like substance sticks to his fingers while he turns the pages.
Abrams: What’s this?
Spielberg: Schmaltz. You need that. The whole thing would fall apart otherwise.
Abrams, reading: “Joe, a heroic child of ten, stands alone before..”
He traces his fingers across one of the script’s enormous, clumsy stitches..
“A vast spider-like monster with the face of Sebulba and the spider-like antennae mouth of..”
He flicks past an apparently blank page
“Ridley Scott’s Alien..Steven you can’t market this film to children it’s terrifying!”
Spielberg: You think? Kids..they can hack anything these days..you’re getting old..
Abrams (leafing back to the synopsis): “Super-8: a group of young kids inadvertently film the escape from a high-security air force train of an imprisoned alien. The films charts their growing pains and a pre-teen love story as the central character Joe, tracks down and helps the confused, but basically sympathetic, man-eating, reptile spider-like alien to freedom in the stars, while coming to terms with the death of his beautiful..My God…”
He breaks off in frustration to rifle through the collapsing document, before stumbling upon the wardrobe instructions and background directions.
Abrams (now openly mocking): “Wardrobe: Let’s just use the one from the Goonies to dress the kids. (now deeply sarcastic) We can use the same irritating kids – it’ll be fine – that’s what kids are like.”
Spielberg – grinning – “Goonies. I loved that film.”
Abrams: “Set directions: make the family homes all a bit too chaotic and unsavoury like it was in the Seventies when I was growing up. You know, like the family in Close Encounters.”
Spielberg: Sure. Realism man.
Abrams (now balking at every word): “Men: men will be outwardly rough and evil, but basically troubled saints. Women: the women in Super-8 will be angels, or super-angels – or dead.”
Spielberg: “But hey listen – the Pops will be bringing up the kids! Not the Moms! Like it?
Abrams: Jesus what’s so strange about that…(losing his rag)..Steven have you lost your mind? Who is going to watch this movie? It’s too scary for kids. It’s too stupid for grown ups. The critics are going to…have…a commemorative bile party…we’re doomed…I had like this totally new idea about – you know, about the glow in the dark killer fish, and you just…’
Abrams breaks off and the two men turn to stare as they hear the sudden footfall of steps on stairs. The dungeon door swings open and a plastic click floods the basement with neon light. Blinking, the two film icons turn to behold a matronly elderly figure in a pinafore. She is expertly balancing a silver plate of weiner schnitzel while pushing in her hip with her free hand and displays a kindly but scolding face.
Mrs Spielberg: Now Steven – I’ve told you before about working in this horrible, dank, dark room. You come up here this minute and get some fresh air and some food inside you.”
Spielberg: Yes Mom
The two film icons trudge despondently after the old lady, swapping frantic criticisms and conflicting film ideas sotto voce as they do so.
Mrs Spielberg (muttering): I don’t know: neon fish and killer – why don’t you just make nice films, like you used to, what about that nice little alien who wanted to phone home?
Spielberg: (breaking off from arguing) I did, mom, that’s what you asked for
Mrs Spielberg (shaking her head): And that wonderful Goonies movie – those children – so sweet and funny..
Spielberg: I did that too
Mrs Spielberg: And of course you need a bit of terror – well, to keep them in their seats of course..
Spielberg (despondently): I did that too. Only JJ doesn’t like it.
Mrs Spielberg turns and coos down at JJ Abrams. ‘JJ – you’re not rowing with Steven again are you? And I thought you too were such good friends.’
Dim soundtrack. Abrams and Spielberg exchange rueful glances.
Spielberg: ‘We are Mom – it’s just – sometimes – it’s tough for kids – you know – to catch the hearts of audiences by falteringly grasping at adult emotions they’re only beginning to understand..’
Mrs Spielberg turns beaming and ruffles the two young lads bowl haircuts
Mrs Spielberg: ‘Come on you two: I’ve a special treat for tea’
The boys exchange excited glances and rush into the kitchen where an enormous bowl of steaming cash sits on a homely kitchen table
Spielberg and Abrams: Monneee-y! Hooray!’
Mrs Spielberg (winking to camera): Always follow the money.
Music swell. Sunlight floods kitchen. Neighbourhood explodes. Alien invader battles evil army in street. Millions of Americans file direct to local cinema.