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July 06, 2007

Viral Campaign Begins For "Top Secret" JJ Abrams Project

Awesomely awesome with a side of fried awesome smothered in awesome-sauce.

The handheld, in-scene "found document" photography is reminiscent of Blair Witch. So is the marketing campaign. Although it's bigger, with more corporate push behind it.

It appears that a monster similar to Cthulhu (if not the Great Old One himself!) is chewing up Manhattan.

This teaser -- with no name, just a release date -- is running before the Transformers move.

The Gaming Life has links to the fake blogs and other online marketing sites and such. A blog about a lunatic prophet type, so well-known to Lovecraft readers, includes this post:

The writings of a mad man

How could the world be so enamored with a lunatic like Ethan Haas ?

It is almost not worth mentioning his writings but if only to discourage mankind from putting it's faith in such "visions". Read for yourself what this "great man" wrote:

The great war of the gods will come upon the earth; the fires and terror of their rule will return for a time, but the children of the gods may be thus prepared, themselves aware and powerful…they may stand along side the gods not as equals, but as allies, feared and ready.

Arguments are breaking out in the comments as to whether this is a true Lovecraftian thing or not; quite frankly, I have a sneaking suspicion the "arguments" are being waged between studio shills. Dave from Garfield Ridge sent this, suggesting that "Cthulhu" was the best guess; at first I doubted it, but this is definitely a Cthulhu-like mythos of madmen prophets and old gods returning to earth to wreak havoc.

With numerous "posters" denouncing this notion as absurd -- despite these obvious analogues, despite the fact that even if this isn't Cthulhu, it's definitely faux Cthulhu -- I'm starting to think maybe this is a bona fide name-used-and-everything Cthulhu pic, not just a knockoff. Methinks the studio shills doth protest too much.

If you're going to hew that close to the source material, why not just acknowledge the source and be done with it? I'm pretty sure all this is now public domain and Lovecraft's estate has no legal rights to the material any more, just a moral right; they ask for, rather than demand, compensation for use of this stuff.

Puzzles... at this hype-blog. Dig the creepy music, but disappointed the secret of all the puzzles turned out to be "Buy more Ovaltine."

More... at a Forbes blog. This quote appears at the "Ethan Haas" site, if you don't have Flash enabled:

"...war came, no longer from the elemental nor from the star's rain of fire. The world was again remade, and the glow was as the coming of the sun upon the Earth. The children of the gods were again too few, scattered and divided and among them walked the ancients and those whose thoughts were not as to the towers and the marvels, but to the End and the destruction of the Earth and to the fires from which nothing could escape."

Again, not exactly by the book Lovecraftian mythos, but close enough.

Solutions to the puzzle-site's puzzles are here.

An email back from one of the sites' propeitors read thus:

It's not a person, it's a group, a very ancient sect. These are dangerous "people", be careful trying to dig too deep....

I've never seen them myself, I'm not sure anyone has, for a very long time.....

The Forbes blog concludes (as I did):

...all the viral "Ethan Haas" stuff seems to be pointing in a particularly awesome direction: all these references to "the ancients" and prophecies and the destruction of the Earth casts a distinctly Lovecraftian tone. Could Abrams be filming a Cthulhu movie? Cross your fingers --or tentacles, as the case may be. We should know pretty soon.

Thanks to Sinistar.


Oh, Clarifying: The Ethan Haas sites are not confirmed to actually be connected with the JJ Abrams project -- so Lovecraftian hints there may have nothing at all to do with the movie. Perhaps just a completely unrelated videogame or something.

There is, in fact, a website clearly connected with the movie -- this site is called 1-18-08, the closest thing the unnamed movie has to an official title (its release date) -- but lacks all the Cthuluesque stuff in the Haas websites.

I've been assuming all are connected, but perhaps they're not.


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posted by Ace at 05:43 PM

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