Longtime Christopher Nolan collaborator Wally Pfister is breaking away from cinematography to direct his first feature film, Transcendence. While the science fiction thriller stars Johnny Depp and features many Christopher Nolan regulars such as Cillian Murphy, Morgan Freeman, and Rebecca Hall, Transcendence will have its own look and feel with Pfister sitting in the director’s chair for the first time. Much of Transcendence‘s story is still cloaked in mystery, but now some new details are emerging at last.
Entertainment Weekly has released a first look at Transcendence with new images that have an Inception vibe. We also get a first look at Depp as Dr. Will Caster, “the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence.” The images look great and make me wonder how deep the film’s story will dig, in terms of hard science fiction.
Although the film doesn’t open for another four months, a more detailed plot synopsis is now available to provide further insight into the science fiction thriller. Here’ the new synopsis from Alcon Entertainment:
Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed — to be a participant in his own transcendence.
For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can…but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will’s thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.
It is believed that Cillian Murphy’s character will play one of the “anti-technology extremists,” but it’s unclear how Morgan Freeman will factor in to Pfister’s directorial debut. Transendence‘s cast also includes Kate Mara, Paul Bettany, Cole Hauser, Clifton Collins, Jr., and Cory Hardrict. There are a lot of really high-quality actors featured in the film, so Pfister has a lot going for his directorial debut.
It’s going to be interesting to see what Wally Pfister produces with his directorial debut. Although Pfister didn’t work on Nolan’s first feature film, Following, the 52-year-old cinematographer-turned-director has worked on all of Nolan’s films since 2000’s Memento. Wally Pfister definitely has a great visual eye and totally deserves to make his own movie. He even won an Academy Award for Best Cinematography for his work in the film Inception in 2010.
Wally Pfister and Christopher Nolan will have their own movies being released in 2014. It’s most likely Nolan’s Interstellar will be a bigger box office draw, but Pfister’s debut will also be something of note. Perhaps Interstellar will not have the same dark and gritty tone Christopher Nolan movies are known for without the added work of Wally Pfister’s keen eye. Nolan’s new cinematographer is Hoyte van Hoytema, who has his own visual style and flourish, having worked on David O. Russell’s The Fighter and Spike Jonze’s Her.
Jack Paglen wrote the script for Transcendence, which will also be his feature film debut. He has also worked on other sci-fi films such as the upcoming Edge of Tomorrow (formerly All You Need Is Kill) for director Doug Liman. Jack Paglen’s screenplay for Transcendence was featured on the so-called Hollywood’s Blacklist, a list of most-liked unproduced screenplays, in 2012. Christopher Nolan and his producing partner and wife Emma Thomas will be the film’s executive producers. With all of this amazing talent involved, Transcendence just screams quality.
Transcendence will hit theaters everywhere on April 18, 2014.