Johnny Depp, Wally Pfister, Transcendence

Maybe this is why he dropped out of Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel"? Whatever the reason, at the very least we heartily endorse Johnny Depp's next move, as he has landed a role in a film that will now be leap frogging its way up Most Anticipated lists.

Depp will star in the directorial debut of cinematographer and "The Avengers" hater Wally Pfister, now titled "Transcendence." Penned by Jack Paglen, details on the plot are being kept firmly under wraps, but Pfister did tease a bit about it recently. "It’s a present-day science fiction film, a fairly big concept. It’s bigger budget — not as big as 'Batman,' but not independent," he told the Sarasota Herald Tribune. And we'd have to reckon the premise must be pretty damn fascinating to lure the interest of Depp, who tends to align himself with seasoned and/or name directors.

No more information at the moment, but production will kick off in early 2013. His longtime collaborators Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas are executive producing the picture that will be produced by and financed by Alcon Entertainment. Warner Bros. will distribute. And we're guessing that Depp won't be the only big name coming on board....