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More Plot Details Discovered for Wally Pfister's Film 'Transcendence'

by
December 11, 2012
Source: The Wrap

Wally Pfister's Transcendence

Time to dive into new details on the upcoming project from Wally Pfister, Chris Nolan's cinematographer, making his directorial debut. We've been following developments with his film Transcendence, some sort of secret sci-fi Inception/2001-like thriller that has been attracting big names. Johnny Depp is already set to star, and Christian Bale has been pursued but no other cast members have been set yet. While the only description so far is that it involves "a computer that develops a malevolent awareness", The Wrap recently got their hands on a script summary that includes intriguing details about this technology project. Read on!

Be warned, if this is one of those movies (like Inception or The Prestige or Prometheus) where you don't want to know anything about it going in, then now is the time to stop reading. While I don't know how many of these plot details are complete spoilers or just basic setups for the plot, it is early information and it is more than they probably wish was out right now. The Wrap doesn't cover anything up, just saying they've obtained "a recent script summary". They followed up with producer Andrew Kosove, who told them: "It is true Johnny Depp's brain is uploaded into a computer." Say what? So what exactly is going on here?

The summary obtained by TheWrap has many details about the futuristic story. In it, three scientists -- Max and the husband and wife team, Will and Evelyn -- have been developing a programming code for the world’s first fully self-aware computer. Depp will play one of the lead scientists, Will. The other two roles have not yet been cast. [...]

According to the summary, a group of anti-technology terrorists assassinate Will, Evelyn uploads his brain into a prototype supercomputer. Although she at first finds the experiment seems to have gone wrong, before too long Evelyn finds Will responding in computer form. She goes on to connect Will to the Internet so he can help make further scientific breakthroughs. Will asks Evelyn to connect a microphone and a camera up to the computer so he can see and speak to her as well.

Will creates a backup of himself to every computer in the world, and furthers his work through accessing online indexes. (Kosove told TheWrap this plot point is no longer in the script.) When the anti-technology organization finds out, they try to steal the supercomputer and destroy it, but Will no longer needs the computer to survive.

Whoa, that sounds crazy, especially the part "no longer needs the computer to survive." I'm not exactly sure how that will be envisioned, but trust in Wally. The Wrap also had Kosove confirm that "the themes of singularity, nanotechnology and artificial intelligence are at the heart of the closely-held script." That sounds like it's the case from those bits of the summary. But they also throw out a reminder that: "A spokesman for Alcon, which is producing the film, cautioned that any script summary might be outdated and is subject to future revisions." So something might have changed, and that may not be the exact plot, but it certainly is something to think about for now. The story and screenplay was written by Jack Paglen.

It's actually exciting to lead into these big "secret" sci-fi movies, just like Chris Nolan's Inception. For the longest time we had no idea what that was really about, and waited for many months until even the trailers still weren't too clear. I'm sure it will take actual footage for most to really get the vision Wally Pfister has for Transcendence, but if actors like Johnny Depp as signing up to play scientists who get turned into supercomputers, he must have some interesting tricks up his sleeve. Only time will tell. For now, its details like this that we have to go on until someone will confirm on the record what it's about. What do you think?

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrea-Valenzuela/100000482497867 Andrea Valenzuela
    Wooow! sound interesting!
  • Tom
    Is it true Sandra Bullock is in talks for the role of Evelyn?
  • matt s.
    Sounds much like the anime Ghost in the Shell.
  • Informed_Critic
    'Transcendence' in the technological (technical knowledge - knowledge of the way things work) evolutionary sense can be traced back to Aristotle and Plato (his student and writer of the famed 'Republic'). Then of course we have the 'Singularity' or "the point of accelerating returns", which based on the fact that technology is exponential in growth (doubling every year in processing power). Check out 'Ray Kurzweil' and you'll see what it's all about. It is about life extension and evolving past our physical frailties and rising to the next level. The Singularity is the point in time where the computational growth is so rapid it merges then absorbs biology (conjuring ideas like the 'grey blob', nano-swarms self-replicating silently en masse like bacteria), the point where nothing can stop it. Look up the movies; 'Transcendent Man', and 'The Coming Singularity'. That should give a full overview of these 'Transhuman' (Cybernetic Organism and higher) ideas on "uploading" etc.
  • Emanuel Goldstein
    The Lawnmower Man (1992)

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