Johnny Depp & Rebecca Hall Ghost the Machine in 'Transcendence' Images

Thursday, 13 March 2014 09:21 Written by  Jordan DeSaulnier
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Johnny Depp & Rebecca Hall Ghost the Machine in 'Transcendence' Images

Since Johnny Depp in just one of a half-dozen stills from next month's Transcendence, we can infer a little bit about who the real star of Wally Pfister's directorial debut might be.

Rebecca Hall, maybe with a side serving of Paul Bettany and a sprinkling of Kate Mara.

This seems to be a sort of inverse Pirates of the Caribbean situation.  Remember how Jack Sparrow was a scene-stealing supporting character in the first movie, but increasingly took over the franchise until finally by the fourth entry, it was basically the Jack Sparrow show?  Depp's all over the marketing of Transcendence, and the whole story hinges on his character, but the actual human lead appears to be Evelyn Caster, played by Hall.

Depp is Dr. Will Caster, the world's foremost expert on artificial intelligence.  On the cusp of the A.I. singularity, which he refers to as "transcendence," and anti-tech extremist shoots Caster with a radioactive bullet.  As he dies, his wife and professional partner Evelyn makes the choice to upload his consciousness to the most advanced computational setup ever devised, one with greater intellect and knowledge than everyone who has ever lived combined.  Now a digital entity, Will – or the machine that simply thinks it's Will – begins to run amok with schemes incomprehensible to his human counterparts.

These six stills, courtesy of The Lebanese Cinema Movie Guide, offer up plenty of Hall, who you know from her standout work in, among other films, Iron Man Three, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, and The Prestige.

Not pictured: Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Clifton Collins Jr., Cole Hauser, and Lucas Haas.

Bettany appears to be a big player, a voice of a reason, in this tale of technology and ambition gone awry.  Funny, since he's gearing up to shoot Avengers: Age of Ultron, in which he'll play Vision, an artificial intelligence.

Moving on, this is the first time that Christopher Nolan's regular cinematographer Pfister has overseen a feature film as director.  The Oscar-winning cinematographer certainly knows how to create a pretty picture, so we can expect Transcendence to look slicker than snot on a doorknob.  Whether the script by Jack Paglen provides big ideas to match is a mystery at this point.

Will Transcendence stand alongside Her as a thoughtful exploration of humanity and technology, or will it be a Lawnmower Man-style thriller without too much on its mind?

We'll find out when the film hits theaters on April 17th.

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