you visit a movie set you hear all kinds of stuff from the people involved. Often they seem to have an idea of what the movie will be that bears no relation to the real film that gets released in theaters. When I was on the set of Michael Bay’ Transformers I heard that the adaptation of the toy line turned cartoon would be dark, and that it would follow the pattern of a disaster movie.

The first real trailer for Transformers is here (fuck you, Mars), and I have to say that it looks a lot like what I was told it would be. In parts the trailer makes the movie look like Independence Day, and in other parts it looks like a horror movie. In general the whole thing gives me more of a Spielbergian vibe than I have ever gotten from a Michael Bay movie.

Interestingly, the trailer does the opposite of what the Live Free or Die Hard teaser does – it’s not a generic set of action beats, although I do expect such beats to be in the movie. It’s a really excellent trailer that sets up a mood and announces to audiences “This is not the same kind of kiddie bullshit that was in the cartoon.” I wonder if the “Transfans” are annoyed about that.

Click here to see the trailer. I’m on my laptop, which has shitty speakers, so I can’t quite make out the sound of the transforming – but it doesn’t sound like they kept the goofy cartoon sound effect. Honestly, this is only a couple of minutes of footage, but everything on display here says to me that Transformers might be better than we had any right to hope for.