Burning Questions! 'Super 8': So where is Lillian, Ohio anyway?


Image Credit: Francois Duhamel

Where is Lillian, Ohio?
Lillian does not exist. Abrams named the steel town setting of his movie after his grandmother.

So where did they actually shoot the movie?
Weirton, W.V.,  small town way up north in the state’s panhandle. The town was previously used as one of the locations in The Deer Hunter and the primary location in the 1984 movie Reckless, which starred Darryl Hannah and Aidan Quinn.

What year was Super 8 set in?
Not that Ron Eldard’s mutton chops and David Cassidy ‘do wouldn’t look perfectly fine right here in 2011, but Super 8 was actually set in 1979.

What else has the young actor who played Joe been in?
He was good, wasn’t he? Believe it or not, Joel Courtney, the 15-year-old Idaho native who played Joe Lamb, was an unknown before landing this movie. He told EW that he went out to L.A. last year to visit his brother, hoping to maybe land a commercial. He walked away with a lead role in a Spielberg-Abrams feature.

Comments (27 total) Add your comment
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  • carl

    When I saw that church in the scene where Joe posts the lost dog notice on the bulletin board, I thought of the church in the Deer Hunter.

    • cxvbcxvn

      “Mocha & Milk” is a perfect matc h like “black & white” people

      Black’ White ‘Fli rt ” C óM —-The most s uccessful interra cial da t ing c lub. If you are still waiting for your sweet “milk” or “mocha”, don’t hesitate to check it !! Don’t let your babie s wait too lon g for you !!

    • Jim

      The church in Deer Hunter is in Cleveland, Ohio

  • tracy bluth

    I hope Joel has a great future in acting. He was amazing.

  • PJ

    My Super 8 burning questions are: what was all the hype about, and who’s responsible for writing that ending?

  • rowan729

    Ah, nice little piece here-I have family from the Weirton area and had no idea that’s where they filmed this!!!!! The view my mother grew up with on the Ohio River is the opening scene from The Deer Hunter, btw-lots of folks don’t know that most of that movie was filmed in Ohio and not in Penna where it was set. Kinda cool to see these areas represented on film!

    • Hannah Schilling

      I just so happen to live in the area where the movie “took place” and there used to be a railroad that went right through my home town of Verona Ohio and a lot of the places mentioned in the movie are actual places right down to ‘river road’ that was mentioned. T

  • Alex

    Based on the quick view of the map they show in the movie, Lillian is supposed to be located in the area west of Dayton and east of Eaton (which is pretty much nothing in real life).

    • Bear

      @Alex- the map to me looked like their were “found dogs” and incidents from Middletown up to just south of Dayton. I was thinking Trenton maybe. In the film itself, though, they mentioned 2 counties where things were going on, Brooke, and Belmont. Both those counties are close to Weirton, WV where the film was shot. Brooke is the county just south of Weirton in WV, and Belmont is across the river in OH. They should have mentioned Butler, or Warren or Preble if they wanted to keep it true to the SW OH location.

      • terri

        They mention Brookville and Greenville in the movie, which are small towns North of Dayton. I think Eaton, which is North and near Brookville represents Lillian, OH. Belmont is also an East Dayton neighborhood in Montgomery County, which was also mentioned in the movie. Don’t think the movie was South of Dayton.

    • E. N. Thompson

      I grew up in that “nothing”…f**k you

  • Staaa

    The movie is supposed to take place in the Dayton OH area (there is an Air Force base there too. I guess the AF never left “Lilian).
    Dayton is 45 minutes north of Cincinnati.

    • Bear

      In one of the trailers, there is radio chatter where they mention Wright Patterson, which is the Air Force base you’re talking about. That was probably the destination of the train too, Wright Pat was the home of the Air Force’s “Operation Bluebook” which investigated UFO’s in the 50’s/60’s.

  • She-Ra

    Super 8 was terrifc, Weirton looked like perfect small town.

  • Jim630

    The first shot of the yellow car after the train wreck showed the back end virtually destroyed. I was shocked when the kids escaped driving this car. I enjoyed the film and recommend it to everyone.

  • maureen

    Just saw the movie with my 15 yr old son. We both really enjoyed it!Loved the young actors and the suspense around every corner had us hopping in our seats!

  • BuckeyeBeth

    I grew up in Trotwood, Ohio, right next to the Brookville that’s mentioned in the movie. If I caught the line right, they say Brookville is “three towns over” from Lillian. Greenville exists in the area, too, but the air force base in “real life” is Wright Patterson on the other side of Dayton. I noticed Eaton on the map, too, which is southwest of Brookville. These are all part of Montgomery County, which they mention as the location, so that’s right, but their mention of Belmont county is way over on the opposite (eastern) side of Ohio. All the other signs point to Lillian being one of the many little teeny towns just west of Dayton, Ohio.

  • gene

    The areas of other comments are about right. There is a small town north of Middletown and west of Dayton called New Lebanon. They erased it from a real map, and replaced it with “Lillian”. The houses,clothes,and kids behavior were more 1962 than 1979, but I still thought the movie was great.

  • Nathan

    Lillian is Farmersville Ohio because it is not on the map.

  • gary pemberton

    Lillian ohio would be just west of new lebanon; farmersville is too far south of 35. The map in movie places lillian directly between eaton and dayton; the only thing between these points is a cow farm.

  • Jason

    It was a great movie, with typical Spielberg elements.

    I did get a chuckle over the fact that the town of “Lillian” was supposed to be located near Dayton, Ohio. For those of us who live in Ohio, it was clear from the very first view of the topography of the town (rolling hills/small mountains) the movie was definitely NOT filmed in the mostly flat-as-a-pancake areas near Dayton. With the steel-mill feel of the town and the hilly terrain, I thought maybe it was filmed in eastern Ohio, near the Ohio River, and was curious to see if this was the case, so stayed in the theater til the very end of the credits when I learned that the movie was actually filmed in West Virginia.

    And by the way, for anyone who plans to see the movie, be sure to stay throught the ending credits to catch the actual “zombie film” that was supposedly made by the kids – it’s hilarious!

  • cjxzoic1970

    Nice flick, have to thank Jason for mentioning the crazy credits because I had just stopped the film before the kids film had started. Being in SW Ohio also I figured they was referring to the area west of Middletown, south of Dayton area where Miami University is. Middletown has the huge AK Steel Plant and many of the workers stay nearby. The land does get hilly in this part of Ohio and can look like eastern Ohio/W.V. area. Lillian could represent Oxford, College Corner, Seven Mile, Somerville which would all be southeast of Montgomery County, Dayton area mentioned in the film. Brookville would be ‘3 towns over’ from any of these as depicted in the film skipping Farmersville, Germantown, New Lebanon. Greenville would be way further north though which made me think it was somewhere northwest of Dayton, but that didn’t make sense. WPAFB is the largest AF base in the area and was heard on the shortwave. Greenville does have small airport. Believably the train would have been heading to WPAFB. My thinking is one of Abrams team knew the area, possibly went to school at Miami or Wright State, which has great film programs, and filled him in. Is nice to have our area depicted in film, even though wasn’t actually shot here!

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