Transcendence has been one of our most anticipated movies of the year since we first heard about it, and we’re only getting more excited the closer it gets. From what we’ve seen, it looks like everything we want out of sci-fi: a mix of kickass action, big important ideas, and characters we can sink our teeth into. Yesterday we got a new poster to gawk at—this film is apparently not immune to that hero-with-his-back-to-the-camera syndrome infecting Hollywood—and because the April 7 release date is still far enough off to feel like forever, we’ve got a brand spankin’ new trailer to keep us occupied, at least for a little while.
This, the second theatrical trailer, is similar in structure and tone to the first, though it is significantly less esoteric than those oblique teasers that preceded that. Even more than the last video, we get a specific breakdown of the core plot, and start to get a more definite sense of what Transcendence will look and feel like.
Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the big man on campus when it comes to the realm of artificial intelligence, and if he has his way, we’re not far off from thinking machines (we saw how well that worked out in Dune). He also hopes to uncover some of the fundamental secrets of the universe along the way. That’s a rather lofty goal. When a radical anti-technology group called R.I.F.T. (Revolutionary Independence From Technology) attempts to kill him, Caster’s wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend, both of whom are also his research partners, upload his consciousness into a supercomputer. Once there he continues to grow, evolve, and become more and more powerful. You see how that could start to go wrong.
We’ve said it before, and we’re probably not the only ones, but the plot of Transcendence does remind us more than a little of a classed up Lawnmower Man. This latest promo also gives the love story a more prominent place, probably trying to illustrate why Evelyn would go to such lengths, and justifying her reluctance to take drastic action when things go awry.
Transcendence marks the directorial debut of Wally Pfister, and while this is his first chance to take the helm, this is far from his first rodeo. As a cinematographer, Pfister has a long, illustrious list of credits, including nearly everything Christopher Nolan has ever directed, among other notable titles. You see how he was able to put together a cast that also includes Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, and Cillian Murphy for his debut film.
Newcomer Jack Paglen handled the script, which won him a spot on the Black List, an annual collection of the best unproduced screenplays floating around Hollywood, a few years back. After that, he found himself attached to Prometheus 2, which is a big time gig, but also means he has his work cut out for him.