Wally Pfister’s directorial debut, Transcendence, has been a very secretive project so far. That comes as no surprise considering Pfister is Christopher Nolan’s long time cinematographer, and Nolan is notorious for keeping details about his projects locked up. But it’s still always nice when we can know something about an upcoming movie.
All that is really known so far in terms of the plot is that some scientist attempts to upload the protagonists’ brain to a computer. We got a leaked plot summary last winter that told us that much and today, we have another plot leak which reveals a bit more.
New Mexico casting and production site Sindication posted a call for late model hybrids to be used in an “Untitled Wally Pfister project.” The last paragraph provides a plot summary which is in line with what we know so far about the film, but adds something quite interesting.
Two leading computer scientists work toward their goal of Technological Singularity, as a radical anti-technology organization fights to prevent them from creating a world where computers can transcend the abilities of the human brain.
With that description we have what we were previously lacking: the antagonist. Assuming what we know about a brain being uploaded to a computer is still true, what we now have is this radical anti-technology organization fighting against the upload happening, even though it’s the only way for that character to go on living. Sounds like a whole lot of intense drama to me.
Technological Singularity, at its most basic level, is the theoretical emergence of superintelligence through technological means. Basically, it’s the most advanced artificial intelligence that ends up making itself smarter. Sci-fi writer and San Diego State University professor Vernor Vinge popularized the term and even wrote about brain-computer interfaces being a possible cause of Singularity.
The cast that’s been announced so far is phenomenal. Johnny Depp (who we think is playing the computer-brain man), Rebecca Hall, Kate Mara, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman and Cillian Murphy are all confirmed. Plus, Nolan and his wife are on board as producers. For a directorial debut, that’s not a bad group of supporters.
Between this film and Nolan’s Interstellar, which is based on Kip Thorne’s theories on wormholes, it sounds like Nolan and his friends just sit around and talk about complex scientific theories all day. Or at least that’s what they want us to believe. Regardless, it looks like a whole lot of smart sci-fi is headed our way soon.