Transcendence

Countless sci-fi movies have explored the possible consequences of the technological singularity, the moment when the machines have officially outpaced the humans who created them. But in Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence, the first machine to achieve sentience isn’t really a machine at all. It’s a controversial scientist, played by Johnny Depp.

Dr. Will Caster (Depp) is an AI researcher whose groundbreaking experiments have caught the attention of some angry, anti-tech terrorists. When the bad guys come to destroy him, Caster tries to get away by uploading his own consciousness into a machine — whereupon his innate ambition becomes warped into something far bigger and more terrifying. Watch the first teaser after the jump.

Update: There’s a second teaser that features voiceover from Morgan Freeman. We’ve added it below.

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Transcendence (header)

It really says something about Johnny Depp‘s career that his role in Transcendence as a megalomaniacal digital god (or something) is the least weird he’s looked in a while. The role doesn’t require him to don gold teeth, or vampire fangs, or ten pounds of white makeup and a bird on his head. Instead, as director Wally Pfister puts it, Transcendence has him with “just a pair of glasses on and a pretty normal haircut.”

But don’t let that fool you: Transcendence sounds like a trip. The script, by Jack Paglen, centers on an AI researcher (Depp) who uploads his own consciousness into the computer when his life falls into danger. Rebecca HallMorgan Freeman, and Cillian Murphy also star, and you can see all of them in two new images after the jump.

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While hints about Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence haven’t been all that hard to come by, actual, confirmed facts have. Neither Pfister nor Warner Bros. has said much about the plot at all, even though the sci-fi drama has been the subject of much interest ever since it was first announced.

But today, a new official synopsis has arrived that not only verifies much of what we’ve heard before, but offers new clues about where the plotline is headed. Hit the jump to find out just what stars Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, and Paul Bettany will be doing in the movie.

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The film Transcendence is the directorial debut of Christopher Nolan’s long-time cinematographer Wally Pfister. The film has mostly been a mystery so far; we know the cast, which includes Johnny Depp, Morgan Freeman, Rebecca Hall, Cillian Murphy, Clifton Collins Jr., Kate Mara, and Paul Bettany. And we know that the story involves the transferrence of consciousness from a human (Depp) into a computer.

Most of the rest of the details have been under wraps. And they’ll remain so, but a few more teaser bits have come to light. Above is the first still from the production of the movie, showing the basic look Depp and Hall sport in the movie. And a brief behind the scenes featurette, embedded after the break, gives you a bit more info to go along with a Chinese teaser poster and quote from one producer about the aims of the film. Read More »

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 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]