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Wally Pfister’s upcoming directorial debut Transcendence has garnered more attention than your average every day first film. It probably has something to do with the fact that he served as cinematographer on a ridiculous number of fantastic, and successful, movies, including almost everything Christopher Nolan has done. Credentials like that also don’t hurt at all when you start casting your movie, and Pfister has put together a doozy of a call sheet. Johnny Depp takes the lead, and also happens to be the primary focus of this new poster for the upcoming sci-fi mind-bender.
You get real up close and personal with Depp’s face here—be glad they Photoshopped out his nose hair—as the image of his grill starts out heavily pixilated on one side, only to come into focus as your eyes drift right across the photo. Superimposed over the top is the phrase, “Yesterday Dr. Will Caster Was Only Human.” What do these both mean? Well I’m glad you asked.
The premise of Transcendence is that Caster and his research partners are on the verge of creating the most advanced artificial intelligence that the world has ever seen. We’re talking a game changing, taking it to Skynet level of innovation. As with all great advancements, there are those who think he is dangerous and oppose his work. When a radical anti-technology group called RIFT attempts to assassinate Caster, his wife, Evelyn (Rebecca Hall), and best friend, Max (Paul Bettany), upload his consciousness into the supercomputer. In there, unfettered by his mortal body, he continues to grow and evolve, gaining power, which as we all know has a tendency to corrupt people. You wouldn’t be the first person to look at this as a high-brow, fancy-pants take on the story from Lawnmower Man. Let’s hope they can achieve similar heights of digital artistry in the special effects realm.
You get the point this poster is going for: in his new environs, Caster sharpens his vision and comes into focus. As what is essentially a sentient machine, he also transcends his simple, fragile, mammalian biology, and become something so much more. Sounds like the anti-tech faction kick started exactly they didn’t want. From what we know, Transcendence is going to be our favorite type of science fiction, the kind that combines big, topical ideas that have far reaching impacts, with lots of kick ass action.