'Transcendence' Viral Marketing Begins with a Warning

Christopher Nolan's upcoming sci-fi Interstellar is the first film he has made in over 15 years without the aid of his trusty cinematographer Wally Pfister. This is because Pfister, having worked on some of the highest-grossing and most critically acclaimed sci-fi blockbusters of the past decade, has decided to take a seat in the director's chair for the first time with his own film, Transcendence.

Featuring an impressive cast that includes Johnny Depp, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman and Rebecca Hall, Transcendence tackles the question of whether the evolution of humanity and the evolution of technology could become one and the same thing in the future, as scientists continue to push development in the field of artificial intelligence. Two recent teaser trailers for the film gave differing perspectives on the subject, but a third teaser has now arrived to represent the views of a group who are not at all happy about the idea of hyper-intelligent computers.

The irony of an anti-technology extremist group communicating via an internet viral campaign aside, RIFT seems very confident in the belief that as soon as machines gain self-awareness they will "use this power to destroy us." Why does no one ever want to give artificial intelligence the benefit of the doubt?

Transcendence - Will Caster (Johnny Depp)

Transcendence is about a scientist called Will Caster (Depp) whose mind is uploaded to a supercomputer of his own invention and whose scientific fervor then "evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power" in which "there may be no way to stop him." In defense of the supercomputer, however, this development is apparently RIFT's fault in the first place for attacking Caster and forcing his wife Evelyn (Hall) to merge his consciousness with that of the computer.

The question of what artificial intelligence would do upon becoming sentient is one that has been tackled many times before in movies, television, novels and video games, but that's largely because it's such a rich topic for exploration. Even if Transcendence isn't exactly breaking new ground, that's not say that it can't find a new and unique way of tackling the subject matter. For example, it could turn out that the Castercomputer's ultimate goal is to solve world hunger and make kittens 67% fluffier. Now that would be subversive.


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

Source: Warner Bros.

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