‘Transcendence’ Trailer: Computer Johnny Depp is the Next Step in Evolution

Published 1 year ago by , Updated March 14th, 2014 at 6:53 pm,

Joaquin Phoenix enjoys puppy love with an artificially-intelligent operating system in the buzzed-about Spike Jonze sci-fi/romance Her, but according to Transcendence – the directorial debut for The Dark Knight trilogy cinematographer Wally Pfister – self-aware computers will be intent on controlling the world, and less concerned with trying to make lonely guys happy.

Marketing for Transcendence commenced this week, first with a couple of teasers that provided different perspectives on the idea of progress in the field of artificial intelligence, and followed by a viral clip from the fictional organization RIFT – an anti-technology group featured in the film – warning against the development of computers with a conscious. Now Warner Bros. has gone ahead and unveiled a full-length trailer for Pfister’s sci-fi drama/thriller (based on a script by relative newcomer Jake Paglen).

Transcendence introduces us to Will Castor (Johnny Depp) and his wife/fellow scientist Evelyn, who are the foremost researchers in the A.I. field – having made significant progress on developing a sentient computer that (according to the official synopsis) will combine “the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions.” Tragedy strikes and Evelyn makes the ill-advised choice to upload Will’s consciousness to their experimental supercomputer, in a desperate attempt to save his life. That, as they say, is when things get really real.

transcendence trailer johnny depp Transcendence Trailer: Computer Johnny Depp is the Next Step in Evolution

Warner Bros.’ decision to give Transcendence an IMAX releases makes more sense, based on the startling visuals and arresting images featured in the trailer, be it computer Johnny Depp’s (literal) fields of data storage or what happens when Will 2.0 decides that the human race is due for a serious upgrade.

Transcendence footage thus far has been quite grave and unnerving, though that hasn’t stopped people from cracking jokes about the numerous past films, books, and video games that have covered similar territory – ranging from 2001: A Space Odyssey to The Lawnmower Man, The Matrix and recent game titles like Portal and Deus Ex. Indeed, the idea of A.I. gone wild is ripe for (re-)examining in our digital era, but it’s by no means unexplored territory – something that Steven Spielberg acknowledged, with regard to his (currently-stalled) upcoming Robopocalypse movie.

That said, Transcendence seem like a promising spin on the premise, and with a strong cast – rounded out by Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, Paul Bettany and Kate Mara – directed by a filmmaker with a proven eye for striking composition, this one ought to be worth a look.


Transcendence opens in regular and IMAX theaters on April 18th, 2014.

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  1. “developing a sentiment computer”


  2. was that Jarvis?

    is this Ultron’s origin story?


    this looks dope

  3. This looks amazing ! It could have been (or could be) a prequel to Terminator !

  4. wow, Now I’m really excited for this movie. There is no doubt Pfister is a visual master.

  5. I wonder if there actually is a reason why this Rift group shot him with a Radiation bullet instead of a regular bullet, or is it just a convenient plot to allow him to die slowly and thus setting in the motion of the whole film.

    • Could’ve been just insurance in case they didn’t get him right in the head or whatever, which they obviously didn’t.

    • Maybe they want him to suffer like the environment is suffering. Teach him a lesson?

  6. I was expecting the trailer to be a 2/10… (I am not a fan of Depp)

    Boy was I wrong. I want to see this when it comes out.

  7. How come there’s no mention of Rebecca Hall playing his wife? Did I miss something?

    • She mentions it in the beginning of the trailer when she is introducing Depp’s character. “my partner in science and my partner in life…”

  8. It isnt even transcendence if you think about it, all it is mass conversion.

    • Transcendence is about moving from one plane of existence to another… conversion in this context is a form of transcendence.

  9. Johnny Depp just made a comeback.

  10. finally get to see Depp in a serious part, looking forward

  11. Could be a moving tale of a wife refusing to let go/a husband refusing to allow himself to die. Could be. It will be a very fine line to get this right though, so I hope they do.

    • Not sure what trailer they are showing above, but I just watched the one on YouTube for it, and the plot that you are hoping for is not it, at all…

  12. Looks super smart.. I am there for this movie.

  13. This movie will be Wally Pfister’s calling card on how future big-budget/tentpole/franchise-oriented blockbuster movies SHOULD BE MADE. The guy will surely helm more Christopher Nolan-produced movies in the future.. I think Pfister should direct the Justice League movie, given his massive credentials as cinematographer.

  14. This would be very very creepy if Mark Zuckerberg was the A.I. instead of Johnny Depp.. that’ll be the day he REALLY CONQUERED the world.

  15. Too many trailers and videos popping up of this movie everyday now.

  16. am i the only one wonde3ring why the timing of this coincides with the press release from google saying theyll be creating an indendently operating AI system/brain to power their search engine?

    the largest access node of information on the planet will be attached to a sentient artificial mind? really? not only that they 9google) recently purchased Boston Logistics the leading prodeucer of american robotics responsible for such things as the “robo cheetah”

    lifes either imitating art or something really fracked up is about to happen

    • i think art imitates life…the movie isn’t a conspiracy, this is what some humans have been predicting is going to happen for the last 50, 60 years by Kurzweil who was working of another guys work forgot his name…

  17. Oh cool, a remake of Lawnmower Man.

  18. Glue a bunch of USB cables on his head… it will look, sciencey! One step ahead of mixing multicolored liquids in flasks ala Asylum pics.

    Wally Pfister, clearly not that concerned with production design…

  19. Only reason to watch this is Rebecca Hall.