J.J. Abrams Releases a Mysterious Trailer — Internet Geeks in a Frenzy

What is the project behind the creepy 'Stranger' clip?

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J.J. Abrams really knows how to build up hype. Even if we don’t know what he’s got brewing.

The creator of Lost, Alias and Fringe—and director of the still-years-away Star Wars movie—dropped a one-minute trailer titled Stranger on the Internet.

All without fanfare—or explanation.  And now we must discuss.

We know little, but it stands plainly obvious there’s darkness. In the trailer, as a man struggles through the surf, stumbling along a beach in the dark of night, as a narrator says, “He arrived knowing nothing of himself. Who is he? Soon he will know. Because what begins at the water shall end there — and what ends there once more begin.” Yeah, we don’t know what that means either.

But as the figure in the trailer pulls something away from his wrists and focuses on a light in the distance, we follow the light and find its actually a flashlight held by a man with his lips stitched shut. Creepy and sinister.

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In all reality, there are two likely explanations—and one much stronger than the other—for this mid-August tease. But there’s also quite a few other ideas folks have had fun wishing into reality. Likely, though, Stranger represents either a teaser to a new novel Abrams collaborated with Doug Dorst on, titled S., and set for an Oct. 29 release or, slightly less likely, Stranger teases Abrams’ new Believe NBC show.

First, though, S. As the Mulholland Books description tells us: “At the core of this multi-layered literary puzzle of love and adventure is a book of mysterious provenance. In the margins, another tale unfolds—through the hand-scribbled notes, questions, and confrontations of two readers. Between the pages, online, and in the real world, you’ll find evidence of their interaction, ephemera that bring this tale vividly to life.”

Mulholland also says that Abrams’ Bad Robot production company will promote the book before its release. Stranger was brought to us by Bad Robot. We’re no Sherlock Holmes, though.

For the sake of argument, Stranger does have a tie to Believe, a new fantasy series set for an early 2014 debut Abrams created with director Alfonso Cuaron. The story centers on a girl with supernatural abilities and, well, to keep it short, there’s lots of evil people, righteous people and a death-row inmate busted out of prison to protect the girl. It could fit.

And just to indulge the wishful thinkers out there, maybe Stranger teases a new Phantom Stranger superhero movie, a Lost spin-off or a crazy Star Wars twist. Maybe not, huh?

We think it best you start believing S. as the true reason for hype, unless the sinister man’s lips are un-stitched and he tells us differently.