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Watch: Johnny Depp Logs On In New Trailer For Wally Pfister's 'Transcendence'

by Kevin Jagernauth
February 11, 2014 7:24 PM
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Stepping out from the shadow of Christopher Nolan, at the age of 52, to make your directorial debut might carry a lot of baggage and many expectations, but Wally Pfister is ready for them. "If people are expecting Nolan-lite, I think they'll be surprised," he told the LA Times last month. "My training comes from Chris, but my emotional content comes from a different era. I'm steeped in a 1970s, pre-'Star Wars' period, films like 'Soylent Green.' Chris comes from a different place."

Bold words from Pfister, who has assembled Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy for "Transcendence." The story follows Dr. Will Caster, whose creation of sentient machines puts him at risk from anti-technology extremists who inadvertently set the researcher on a dangerous path. It's an ambitious story for a first-time filmmaker, but Pfister reveals it was Nolan himself who gave him the confidence to take it on.

"I told Chris, 'I think it's a good project. My hesitation is that it's just too big for my first adventure,' " he said. "And Chris very calmly said, 'Absolutely not. You know how to handle this scope of filmmaking. And storytelling is the same whether you're dealing with $100 million or $10 million.' "

We'll see if Pfister got the job done when "Transcendence" opens on April 18th. Watch below. [HeyUGuys]

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  • Jeff | February 17, 2014 12:16 PMReply

    Yay, scaremongering. I'm excited about the technology, but not the movie.

  • Nick | February 15, 2014 4:47 PMReply

    Really hoping this is great! Agree with the thoughts that not being based on a comic/theme park ride/or sequel, it needs to be supported even with just slightly above average reviews to keep originality in the studio flow

  • Julie | February 12, 2014 8:41 PMReply

    Rebecca Hall seems to be turning in a wonderful performance and I like Paul Bettany, Cillian Murphy & Morgan Freeman. Not being a sci-fi buff, however, I'm only seeing it because Johnny Depp is in it.

  • Sean | February 12, 2014 10:36 AMReply

    This looks brilliant! Wow was I mesmerized!

    Any1 who is writing it off cuz they don't "get it" or Depp is "bad or misplaced" are seriously delusional & wouldn't know if a film had potential if it hit em on the head!

    The cinematography, the visuals and effects, the cast (Hall looks beautiful & brilliant) all look to be in top form.

    If anything my critique would be that they showed too much for a trailer.... I think if the last 25 seconds were cut, which focuses on the love/romance story of the film, was gone it make it much more effective but thats just IMO

    DEF looking forward to this one. Word of mouth will be key for its success thats for sure

  • J | February 12, 2014 4:34 AMReply

    Pah, all the people who are complaining about this are the same people who complain about how all blockbusters these days are sequels, remakes, spin offs and reboots, and decry the state of modern corporation driven cinema. Finally a bold, intelligent original blockbuster comes along, a real risk for the studio, and a gamble on untested but exciting talent, and you lot moan about it. Get a grip. Find something to be positive about.

  • Okezi | February 12, 2014 2:40 AMReply

    We didn't get Inception the first time we saw the trailer either, and looked how it turned out. I just Depp's presence in this movie has rubbed a lot of people the wrong way and they are quite ready to write the movie off based on this.

  • Greg | February 12, 2014 2:19 AMReply

    I get it. I just think it looks bloody awful. And Depp ruins everything he's in.

  • Eleni | February 13, 2014 9:08 AM

    Oh ! You haven't seen it yet ! How can u say it's awful ?? Die you hater !

  • Anonymouse | February 11, 2014 9:29 PMReply

    seems to be a generic sci-fi techno-thriller with very little to add to the genre besides nifty effects. zero thereom, on the other hand...

  • Anonymouse | February 12, 2014 2:11 PM


    i view it as a rather ham-fisted attempt at filming a 1970's sci-fi tale retold in dozens of of old zines, anthologies (there must be at least one Transcendence-type tale in Dangerous Visions), and countless sci-fi channel series. the simple template: man uses technology for attempt at immortality and hijinks (lots of running and bloodshed) ensue. nothing original here.

  • Yousef | February 11, 2014 10:01 PM

    It actually looks pretty original with an interesting concept and questions.

  • Can you dig it? | February 11, 2014 8:20 PMReply

    I get it and I dig it.

    Nice to see Depp playing something other than a goofball for a change.

  • hank | February 11, 2014 8:00 PMReply

    anyone getting it?

  • Who, me? | February 13, 2014 1:11 AM

    Scientist working on making an AI gets shot. THey upload his mind onto the computer they were working on. It/he goes power mad, magics nanobot stuff up, turns people into cyborgs.
    Prediction: Luddites save the day, and are good guys despite kicking the whole thing off.

    Basically the second half of Terminator 3 glued onto Salvation, except Skynet is a power-mad, mind-uploaded scientist instead of a military project thing from what I'm seeing :/

  • CrombyMouse | February 12, 2014 2:06 AM

    Nope. They just added some action sequence to the previous trailer but still I don't really understand what's all about.

  • Frank | February 11, 2014 7:57 PMReply

    They're doing a terrible job of selling this thing. Trailer's jaunty, poster's nondescript, tagline's ridiculous. This was not a cheap movie to make and right now it looks doubtful they're gonna get that opening weekend.

  • Frank | February 11, 2014 11:21 PM

    The Tourist and Public Enemies didn't have the visual effects considerations of this movie. Even with New Mexico's tax credit this is a $100+ million production.

  • Carla | February 11, 2014 8:36 PM

    Where did I get it from? Wally Pfister himself said that the budget is $100m and also a japanese guy who is one of the distributors. Yes Depp got $20m but that doesn't mean that the budget have to be so huge. He got $20m for Public Enemies and The Tourist and the budget for those movies was $100m just like this movie.

  • Frank | February 11, 2014 8:12 PM

    Where'd you get $100m from? Depp got his full quote, he alone is $20m.

  • Carla | February 11, 2014 8:02 PM

    I disagree with all what you said. The marketing has been great so far and they got so many people excited. It's not doubtful that they're gonna get that opening weekend when there's no big competitors around the time it comes out. The budget is $100m and it's gonna make that back and make a profit.

  • Whit | February 11, 2014 7:56 PMReply

    Looks to have a solid human story behind the technology/machine elements. Looking forward to seeing this!

  • me | February 11, 2014 7:42 PMReply

    It looks amazing!

  • Jamie T D | February 11, 2014 7:40 PMReply

    Is me or isn't that Jonathan Nolan at 1:42?

  • caro | February 12, 2014 9:46 AM


  • P | February 11, 2014 7:31 PMReply

    I really dont get it

  • James | February 11, 2014 7:49 PM

    Don't get it.

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