Cillian Murphy

Each time we report on a new actor being added to Wally Pfister‘s directorial debut, Transcendence, it’s the same old thing: new actor, very little new info. Being as Pfister has learned from the Christopher Nolan school, and in fact this film is being exec produced by Nolan, it’s no surprise that details are scant.

The new actor in this case is someone with whom Pfister should be very familiar, as they’ve done four films together. Pfister was director of photography on the last three Batman movies, and Inception, each of which featured Cillian Murphy. Now Murphy will play one of three lead male roles in Transcendence, with the other two played by Johnny Depp and Paul Bettany. Rebecca Hall, Kata Mara, and Morgan Freeman are in the film as well.

Jack Paglen scripted, and we know that the story revolves around a couple of scientists (Depp and Bettany), with Depp playing a guy whose consciousness is housed in a computer after his physical form is killed. The film will be released on April 25, 2014. [Latino Review]

Morgan Freeman

Several months back, there was talk that Christian Bale could re-team with The Dark Knight Rises cinematographer Wally Pfister for the latter’s directorial debut Transcendence. That potential casting didn’t quite pan out, but now Pfister’s enlisting the help of a different Batman actor.

Morgan Freeman, who played Lucius Fox in all three Dark Knight installments, has entered final negotiations for the sci-fi pic. Johnny Depp is set for the lead, while Paul BettanyRebecca Hall, and Kate Mara are also attached to star. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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kate-mara-hoc

Kate Mara is hardly a newcomer; she’s had notable roles on Jack & Bobby, 24, Entourage, and American Horror Story, with lots of feature work sprinkled in between those gigs. But her starring role on the David Fincher-produced series House of Cards has elevated her profile in a big way.

One immediate result of Mara’s new popularity is that she has landed a role in Transcendence, the directorial debut of Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer Wally Pfister. (Nolan and his wife and co-producer Emma Thomas are producing Transcendence, too.) The cast already includes Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, and Paul Bettany in a story that sees Depp’s consciousness given new life within a computer. Read More »

Rumors about who might star in Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence have been floating around for months, but now that the film is actually about to start production it’s locking down some big names fast. Just last week we got confirmation that Johnny Depp would star, followed a few days later by news that Paul Bettany had also joined. Now the film has also found a female lead in Rebecca Hall, who beat out Rooney Mara and Emily Blunt.

Few plot details have been confirmed at this point, but the basic idea is that a man (Depp) has uploaded his brain into a computer. Hall will play Depp’s wife. The talented Brit actress previously starred in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, on which Pfister served as DP. Her other notable roles include The Town, Please Give, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and the upcoming Iron Man 3. Transcendence starts shooting this spring for an April 25, 2014 release date. [Collider]

After the jump, Hall’s Prestige co-star Christian Bale may also have landed a new gig.

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Yesterday we got confirmation that Johnny Depp is confirmed for the directorial debut of cinematographer Wally Pfister. The film is Transcendence, and now we know that Depp will be joined by Paul Bettany — it’s the Tourist reunion no one expected. Both actors play scientists. Depp’s role is Will, who is killed by anti-tech terrorists, but reborn after his consciousness is housed in a computer. The precise details of Bettany’s role are unclear at this point.

We don’t know much more than that — in fact, we don’t even know if those details, reported early, will remain consistent in Jack Paglen‘s script. This one is going to be controlled as tight as Christopher Nolan’s films. (Indeed, Nolan is an exec producer on Transcendence.) We do know that Warner Bros. has now set the film for release on April 24, 2014. [Deadline]

One of the most popular and in-demand actors in Hollywood has just scheduled the rest of his year, with one glaring omission. Johnny Depp will now officially star in Transendence, the mysterious sci-fi directorial debut of Wally Pfister, best known for his work with Christopher Nolan. From there he’ll star in Barry Levinson‘s Black Mass, a true-crime drama. He was previously rumored for both roles.

Transcendence shoots in April, Black Mass will shoot over the summer, and with a healthy dose of press for his new film, The Lone Ranger, peppered in, Depp is going to be a very busy man. One film not mentioned in his upcoming slate is Pirates of the Caribbean 5, a film that’s been given a July 2015 release date by Disney and has been in its script stage for some time. With Depp’s schedule all but booked for the next nine months or so, it seems unlikely that movie could shoot until next year. Read more about all the projects below. Read More »

Regional crime boss James Joseph “Whitey” Bulger has a curiously strong hold on the imaginations of filmmakers. As one of the last of a largely bygone generation of gangsters, Bulger has become an inspiration for those looking to create screen villains — Jack Nicholson’s character in The Departed, for example, was based on Bulger. So was Pete Postlethwaite’s character in The Town.

The Boston-area criminal has captured the interest of Boston-area filmmakers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as well, and the two have planned a Bulger film for a couple years now. Looks like the will be beat to the punch, however, by Barry Levinson. The director is attached to Black Mass, a film based on Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill’s 2001 book Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob.

Now Levinson has landed Johnny Depp — star of the Levinson-produced crime film Donnie Brasco — to play Bulger. That gives Black Mass serious momentum. Read More »

Just as we’re enjoying the last of 2012’s cinematic offerings, the latest edition of the Black List has hit the web. The annual survey highlights the hottest unproduced screenplays of the year, as based on the votes of hundreds of executives.

The term “unproduced” is used rather vaguely here. Some of these scripts (like Ivan Reitman‘s Draft Day and Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence) already have a director or star attached, while others are still floating around in search of the right studio or producer. The subjects and honorees range greatly as well. Nazi hunters, Hillary Clinton, the NFL, and time-traveling teens are among the subjects of this year’s winners, and the screenwriters run the gamut from industry newcomers to seasoned pros.

Hit the jump to read the full list.

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Wally Pfister has become famous as Christopher Nolan’s cinematographer, but he’s making the leap to director with a film called Transcendence. We’ve known little about the movie beyond the fact that Johnny Depp will play the lead — one of three scientists — and that the story has a sci-fi bent as one of the characters “creates a computer that develops a malevolent awareness.”

Now we know that the script — in at least one recent draft — features “themes of singularity, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.” There’s more — some really specific stuff about Depp’s role, in fact — but because the info could be construed as spoilerish, you’ll find it all below. Read More »

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How big do you want your big sci-fi movies? Today IMAX and Warner Bros. announced the continuation of a partnership that will see twenty Warners films released in “the IMAX Experience” format over the next few years. Along with the deal comes some info on a few different upcoming films, including Gravity, Transcendence, and Jupiter Ascending.

Alfonso Cuaron‘s Gravity, in which Sandra Bullock plays a woman who has to survive a space bound trip to safety after an accident with her research craft, will be released in an unconverted IMAX format, for example. There’s still no release date for the film, however.

And Transcendence, the film from Christopher Nolan‘s cinematography Wally Pfister, will go IMAX as well, even though he’ll shoot the film in a standard film format. (No big native IMAX sequences in this one, early, unlike his last couple Batman movies with Nolan.) That doesn’t have a date, either.

Then there are a couple other odd details, such as the listing for the WachowskisJupiter Ascending, which specifies that the film is in 3D. Doug LIman‘s All You Need is Kill will also be in 3D, as will the 300 sequel 300: Rise of An Empire.

The full IMAX Experience slate is as follows: Jack the Giant Slayer 3D (March 1, 2013); Man of Steel 3D (June 14, 2013); Pacific Rim 3D (July 12, 2013); 300: Rise of an Empire 3D (August 2, 2013); Gravity 3D: (TBD); Seventh Son 3D (October 18, 2013); The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3D(December 13, 2013); All You Need Is Kill 3D (March 7, 2014); Transcendence (TBD); Godzilla (5/16/14); Jupiter Ascending 3D (TBD); The Hobbit: There And Back Again 3D (July 18, 2014); Black Sky (TBD); Tarzan 3D (TBD); Fury Road 3D (TBD); Journey 3 3D (TBD)