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Wally Pfister's 'Transcendence' Starring Johnny Depp Will Feature An Evil Self Aware Computer & More

by Kevin Jagernauth
November 3, 2012 1:18 PM
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Update: The Playlist has learned the film does not deal with stem cell research nor is it a drama. Hopefully more details emerge soon.

Perhaps this is why plot details were being kept guarded? Among the many political issues that earn hot-button status, stem cell research is near the top. But basing a $120 million movie starring Johnny Depp around the subject? That's pretty damn ballsy.

While info has been under lock and key for cinematographer Wally Pfister's directorial debut "Transcendence," The Wrap has quietly spilled a few details and they will surely get the Twittersphere to light up. In addition to the aforementioned budget, the trade reveals that "the story follows three scientists, attempting work on stem cell and advanced computer technology, which will change the fundamentals of human life. Tension comes into play when they are met by protest and resistance." The Film Stage has also learned that the story also include a character “who creates a computer that develops a malevolent awareness” with comparisons to "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Inception" being tossed around. 

Obviously, with this kind of money being involved, we'd wager there is probably another element to this story that is not being discussed, that will involve some kind of special effects. Either that, or this will be one very expensive drama. Either way, it's pretty easy to see why A-listers are needed for this one given the budget, and we'll be curious as to who else will come on board the film.

Executive produced by Pfister's longtime collaborators Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, production begins in February. Warner Bros. will release the picture.

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  • DG | November 4, 2012 7:37 PMReply

    Depp just isn't exciting plain and simple. He's gotten too repetitive over the years, always the same old Burton-collab crap or more of his Hunter S. Thompson idol worship. I want to see someone unpredictable and charismatic in a film like this, a film which although not directed by him is essentially the next Christopher Nolan movie in a lot of ways and therefore an exciting premise for a lot of people.

  • Kindred Spirit | November 4, 2012 2:11 PMReply

    I'd go for someone with real chops like James McAvoy or Ryan Gosling. Why Depp? He hasn't had a hit in awhile and he looks like a hobo- enough with this Depp and R Patz nonsense. There are other REAL leading men out there. Bale, McAvoy, Gosling, DiCaprio, Hardy, Ruffalo, etc. I changed my mind- I'd for sure go with Ruffalo. He isn't "box office" per se but he's a hell of a lot more compelling than ol' eyeliner over there.

  • Stevo the Magnificent | November 4, 2012 12:04 AMReply

    ... and $100m of that $120m budget is just on Depp's salary...

  • zsvdsg | November 3, 2012 11:45 PMReply

    i can't wait for this.

  • DG | November 3, 2012 5:33 PMReply

    Looking forward to this but am I the only one wishing they were going with someone besides Depp for the lead?

  • jor | November 4, 2012 11:37 AM

    i think you are the only one...why don't you want to see depp as the leading man?depp is a freakin awesome actor!!!

  • Wrong | November 3, 2012 5:31 PMReply

    As someone who has read the script, I can tell you that it is in fact NOT about stem cell research. You need to do better research

  • Tom | November 3, 2012 4:05 PMReply

    Wow, sounds pretty interesting. Bring it Pfister.

  • ted | November 3, 2012 1:50 PMReply


  • Wash | November 3, 2012 1:35 PMReply

    Pfister PFTW!

  • Real | November 3, 2012 1:54 PM


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