Christopher Nolan’s Oscar-winning cinematographer going back to Memento, Wally Pfister is moving over to the director’s chair on the sci-fi project Transcendence. Johnny Depp lined up for the male lead role four months ago; meanwhile, on-the-rise stars Emily Blunt (Looper), Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3) and Rooney Mara (Side Effects) are reported to be circling the role of Depp’s wife in the motion picture.

We now have official confirmation that Depp is a lock for Pfister’s feature-length directorial debut, which is being prepped to start production in April. The scheduling works out nicely, following Depp attaching himself to the Whitey Bulger flick Black Mass earlier this month; as it stands, the true-crime biopic won’t be shooting until this summer (rather than in May, as was originally reported), so Depp should be able to headline both films.

Transcendence is based on a screenplay written by relative newcomer Jack Paglen, with additional development by Annie Marter (Meet Bill) and revisions handled by Noah Oppenheim (The Maze Runner). Depp is reported to be playing a scientist whose brain is downloaded into a supercomputer, making him and his collaborators (including, his wife) targets for a terrorist group founded on anti-technology hysteria. It’s a socially-relevant piece of cinema dealing with modern sci-fi issues, for sure, much like Nolan’s next directing effort Interstellar.

Christopher Nolan and Wally Pfister filming ‘The Dark Knight Rises’

Meanwhile, Oscar-winner Barry Levinson (Rain Man, Bugsy) is directing Black Mass, working from the script by relative newcomer Mark Mallouk that’s based on the non-fiction book “Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance Between the FBI and the Irish Mob,” as written by former Boston Globe reporters Dick Lehr and Gerald O’Neill.

Depp, of course, is starring as Bulger, who is very much the sort of larger-than-life personality in the actor’s wheelhouse. By comparison, his Transcendence role calls for a more buttoned-down and everyman performance. That should be welcome by those who’ve been waiting to see the actor change pace following his quirky roles in Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesDark Shadows and The Lone Ranger (yes, we’re ignoring his comparatively normal roles in The Tourist and Rum Diary, which far less people went to see in theaters).

——

Which Depp project are you more interested in, Transcendence or Black Mass? Do they sound equally appealing (or not)? Let us know in the comments section.

Source: Alcon Entertainment