Johnny Depp To Headline Wally Pfister’s Sci-Fi Epic Transcendence

It was a depressing day when Wes Anderson confirmed that Johnny Depp would not be appearing in The Grand Budapest Hotel.  But never fear, this is not an announcement concerning Pirates of the Caribbean 15: Captain Jack in Space. RatherJohnny Depp has now been confirmed to star in Transcendence, the directorial debut of The Dark Knight Rises director of photography Wally Pfister.

The announcement of the sci-fi feature comes to us via First ShowingTranscendence has been described as being in the vein of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Inception; although I must admit that I don’t particularly think that those two films are comparable.

Depp will play a husband who gets sucked into a computer with malevolent awareness.  Right. That does sound like 2001. Or The Matrix. Or Tron. Or … almost any other cyberpunk movie ever.

To return to the exciting part: Johnny Depp will be headlining a cast that hopes to include Noomi Rapace, Christoph Waltz and possibly Tobey Maguire or James McAvoy, all of whom are currently in talks to appear in Pfister’s directorial debut.

Pfister might be a first-time director, but he’s worked closely with Christopher Nolan ever since Memento in 1999. So he has good – if somewhat untested – credentials for taking on a story like this. He also has nothing but praise for Depp, saying:

Johnny Depp is one of the most charismatic, talented actors imaginable. I’m thrilled, and feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Johnny. He is a creative and intelligent artist whom I feel will bring great depth to the character and the overall narrative.”

I’m thrilled to hear that Mr. Depp is doing a film that does not involve Gore Verbinski, Tim Burton or pirates. While I’m not the greatest fan of Christopher Nolan, I will not let that prejudice me against Mr. Pfister, or screenwriter Jack Paglen. As always, I’m willing to give Johnny Depp the benefit of the doubt.

It will be interesting to see what comes of Transcendence when it begins shooting early next year. Hopefully it will be more interesting than another 2001 knock-off.

As always, we’ll keep a close eye on casting and further plot details as they become available.