It feels like forever since we’ve seen Johnny Depp look like a regular human being in a movie. In fact, I think he looks most normal in animated adventure Rango. Otherwise he’s either been Jack Sparrow, a dude with a dead bird on his head or a vampire.
Ah, but I’m being flippant. He was normal in The Rum Diary and in his 21 Jump Street cameo. And he’s going to be relatively normal in Transcendence. It’s the directorial debut of longtime Chris Nolan cinematographer Wally Pfister, and it actually has a pretty zany premise despite his normal look.
Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions. His highly controversial experiments have made him famous, but they have also made him the prime target of anti-technology extremists who will do whatever it takes to stop him. However, in their attempt to destroy Will, they inadvertently become the catalyst for him to succeed—to be a participant in his own transcendence. For his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both fellow researchers, the question is not if they can…but if they should. Their worst fears are realized as Will’s thirst for knowledge evolves into a seemingly omnipresent quest for power, to what end is unknown. The only thing that is becoming terrifyingly clear is there may be no way to stop him.
So while he looks normal now, Depp is essentially going to turn into a machine halfway through the movie. It’ll be interesting to see how Pfister handles the jump from cinematographer to director though. These transitions don’t always work too well, but at least we’ll know the movie will look fairly beautiful.
Transcendence arrives April 18, 2014. [EW]