Transcendence Trailer: Introducing Johnny Depp’s Sci-Fi AI

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Sci-fi fans are no strangers to what happens when a robot becomes self aware

The story in itself is nothing new, but Johnny Depp and director Wally Pfister are hoping to add something new to the lexicon and they’ve given us a first look with this Transcendence trailer.

Depp plays a scientist who attempts to build an artificial intelligence that represents the sum of human emotions and knowledge, which is a risky endeavor with anti-technology groups seeking to stop his experiments. Depp’s character (Dr. Will Caster) ultimately becomes part of his creation which in turn sends him on a quest for knowledge that might spell doom for humanity.

Check out the Transcendence trailer below:

The trailer kicks off with Depp pontificating about the path to building super intelligence requiring the unlocking of the basic secrets of the universe. We know right away that this kind of unadulterated hubris can only have one real end. Of course, next we see Deep taking a radioactive bullet from luddite terrorists, leaving little choice but to upload his brain from his dying body. Seems like a good idea right? Well, by the end of the preview its pretty evident that there are going to be some serious complications.

At first blush the film echoes the countless encounters we’ve seen with AI’s gone wrong, complete with a seemingly predictable ending. Pfister has worked mostly with Christopher Nolan as his director of photography, so he might be forgiven for not coming up with the most original idea. Clearly where this film’s strength may lie is not so much in its narrative but rather its unique design. Top notch visual effects combined with an impressive cast including Kate Mara, Paul Bettany, Rebecca Hall, Cillian Murphy, and Morgan Freeman certainly puts this version of the venerable sci-fi trope a cut above the rest.

Transcendence is scheduled to be released in 2014.

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