518057581 3 725 498 Transcendence Teaser Trailers: Johnny Depp is the Ultimate Computer

The rush of winter holiday movies in 2013 are bringing with them trailers for the big releases of spring/summer 2014, several of which have already gone live online. Indeed, this past week we’ve gotten our first looks at footage from 22 Jump Street, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, How to Train Your Dragon 2 and The Expendables 3; not to mention, the teaser for Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi Interstellar, which opens in the fall.

Speaking of Chris Nolan, his longtime director of photography (and Oscar-winner for Inception) Wally Pfister’s feature debut Transcendence now has its own minimalistic, yet intriguing teaser to show. Pfister’s directorial debut is a sci-fi drama/thriller centered around Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), a scientist determined to push the envelope of artificial intelligence and engineer the world’s most powerful supercomputer – which he eventually does, though in a manner that he wouldn’t have predicted.

Whereas the teaser for Interstellar is tonally optimistic – with Matthew McConaughey narrating how humanity’s willingness to (literally) reach for the stars will be our salvation – the Transcendence preview is far moodier and eery, with Depp’s voiceover having a subtle yet distinctly ominous vibe, especially once he begins talking about achieving what he would call “transcendence” (but others would call “singularity”, i.e. the point when artificial intelligence eclipses human intelligence).

UPDATE: Here is a second teaser for Transcendence, featuring voiceover narration by Morgan Freeman:

Transcendence originated with a script that made the 2012 Hollywood Black List for Best Unproduced Screenplays and was penned by Jake Paglen, who is now writing the sequel to Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. It wouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that Paglen’s Transcendence draft feature elements of horror/philosophy like Scott’s film, based on the teaser and what we know of the plot; not to mention, Pfister’s key role in establishing Nolan’s dark brand of cinema.

Rounding out the impressive cast for Transcendence are Rebecca Hall (Iron Man 3), Paul Bettany (Mortdecai), Morgan Freeman (Oblivion), Cillian Murphy (In the Heart of the Sea) and Kate Mara (House of Cards).

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