Here at GFR, two of our most highly anticipated releases of the next year are Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and former Nolan-cinematographer Wally Pfister’s Transcendence, both of which could potentially tell the most original story of the year. The still-in-production Interstellar released a teaser last week that evoked a mood rather than revealing much footage, and the “Look, it’s Johnny Depp made out of numbers!” teaser that Warner Bros. unveiled for Transcendence went the same route. Oddly, Warners has now dropped another teaser, and this time it’s co-star Morgan Freeman’s soothing tones providing the enlightening voiceover narration.
Remember how I used the word “original” earlier? Well, this teaser is filled with historically important footage, shown over the tiny pieces of circuitry, and there is one part where the image of an astronaut is shown amidst shots of rockets and airplanes. Um, I’m pretty sure we already saw astronauts in the Interstellar teaser, so this movie is a TOTAL GYP RIPOFF! Ahem, well, maybe not.
I actually enjoyed this teaser quite a bit, in as much as someone can enjoy a thing that is frustratingly vague and footageless. This is a movie about artificial intelligence, and I’ll be damned if they’re going to let us forget it. And while some people in the world are frightened at the thought of something besides a living thing producing intelligent thoughts, it is a wonderful fantasy for just as many, if not more.
These are the people that Freeman is speaking to, offering up the human brain as this planet’s pinnacle of success, and asking, what if there was something greater than all of these brains put together? Granted, a robot/human hybrid could never go back in time to create itself, so there’s no denying how important humanity is in and of itself. But will said cyborg even give a damn?
Dr. Will Caster (Depp) is working on a machine that can attain full sentience, full intelligence, and a full grasp on emotions, all in one electronic brain. As his research starts earning him more dangerous adversaries, Caster decides to become his own guinea pig and transcend into a greater reality. As you can imagine, it works a little too well, and his byte becomes worse than his bark. That was a stretch, I admit.
I like the two teasers as a pair, both asking audiences “What if” without mentioning how potentially dangerous that future could be. You can’t set someone up for a fall without taking them to the top first. Will Transcendence top box offices when it comes out April 18, 2014?