Noted cinematographer Wally Pfister will release his first feature film as director, the science fiction thriller Transcendence. The film has received a lot of attention this week with new teaser trailers, the start of a viral marketing campaign, and new images. With Pfister’s directorial debut fresh in fan’s minds, Warner Bros has released the film’s first theatrical trailer.
The new trailer gives you a better idea about Transcendence’s story. The film follows Johnny Depp as Dr. Will Caster, a scientist on the verge of melding human intelligence and computer technology. When a radical anti-technology group tries to assassinate Caster, his wife Evelyn and his research partner Max uploads his consciousness into a supercomputer, allowing him to live on in the cyber world. As you’d expect, this latest video paints a more complete picture of the plot and characters than you got in the teasers.
While the film looks new and slick, this is a story that has been explored many times, in films like The Lawnmower Man, Johnny Mnemonic, and Virtuosity, among others. Transcendence looks like it includes cyberpunk elements too. In some ways, Pfister’s film feels like a more tech savvy version of Christopher Nolan’s Inception. Of course, Pfister won an Academy Award for his work as that film’s cinematographer back in 2010, and it seems that he’s going to capitalize on that success with his debut. It’s going to be interesting to see how Caster will impact the real world and vice versa. It seems that the more power he receives, the more powerful he will become in both the real and virtual realms.
The new trailer comes on the heels of Warner Bros heavy promotion of Transcendence this past week. As mentioned above, the movie studio recently released the thriller’s teaser trailer, along with two viral marketing videos featuring Morgan Freeman and Kate Mara. It’s unclear whom Freeman plays—his character’s name is Joseph, but it’s unknown how he will fit into the new film—Kate Mara appears to be part of the radical anti-technology collective known as R.I.F.T. (Revolutionary Independence From Technology). The more information that comes out, the more this feels like a cautionary tale as well as an exciting thriller.
Jack Paglen, also making his feature film debut, wrote the script for Transcendence. He has also worked on other sci-fi films like the upcoming Edge of Tomorrow for director Doug Liman. Paglen’s screenplay was featured on the Black List in 2012, a list that compiles highly acclaimed, yet unproduced, screenplays. Nolan and his producing partner, wife Emma Thomas, serves as the film’s executive producers, and the cast also includes Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Kate Mara, Cole Hauser, Clifton Collins, Jr., and Cory Hardrict.
Transcendence hits theaters everywhere on April 18, 2014.