We’ve still yet to see the first images from the movie itself, but Transcendence has made it clear it’s not messing around with three teaser trailers today featuring some high-concept ideas voiced by its key cast members. It also sounds like the prequel to Terminator, The Matrix, and just about any other post-apocalyptic sci-fi story where machines now rule the planet. Have a look for yourself:
Transcendence is the feature directorial debut Wally Pfister, the director of photography who lensed Moneyball, The Italian Job, and all of Christopher Nolan’s films. Pfister is jumping headlong into the deep end with Transcendence with the backing of Warner Bros. and Alcon Entertainment (Prisoners, The Book of Eli, The Blind Side) in what figures to be a big budget, high-concept proposition that’s far from a sure thing. Among the things going for the project are leading men Johnny Depp, who you heard (and briefly saw) in the first teaser, and, of course, Morgan Freeman, who speaks in the second. We’re pretty sure that’s Kate Mara in the third. She plays a character named Bree who, if that is indeed her, is part of radical anti-tech organization trying to stop a pair of scientists (Depp and Freeman, it would seem) from achieving the Singularity.
The Singularity is a real-world theory which postulates that technology, in particular something resembling the sci-fi dream of a true artificial intelligence, will one day eclipse all human capacity for thought and understanding. The term was first used in the 1950s by mathematician John von Neumann and quickly caught on with writers and futurists. Some hold that the singularity will be a purely technological accomplishment, while others (especially transhumanists) believe that it implies the joining of artificial systems with organic ones to produce elite new life. Many scientists interested in the Singularity predict it will occur within the next 20-50 years, citing exponential growth in computing power as a catalyst for rapid achievement of the theorized superhuman A.I.
Will the Singularity be the salvation of mankind, or are Depp and Freeman hastening the arrival of Skynet? We’ll find out when Transcendence hits theaters April 18.