Transcendence: Having Knowledge to Acquire Unstoppable Power

Dr. Will Caster is an artificial intelligence researcher who strives to create a machine that possesses sentience and collective intelligence. Extremists who oppose technological advancement target him, but their actions drive him toward his goal. Caster also wants to become part of the new technology, and his wife Evelyn and his best friend Max Waters, also researchers, question the wisdom of this drive. Caster's goal to acquire knowledge becomes one to acquire power, and he seems to be unstoppable.

Transcendence is directed by cinematographer Wally Pfister in his directorial debut. Jack Paglen wrote the initial screenplay for Pfister to direct, and producer Annie Marter pitched the film to Straight Up Films. The pitch was sold to Straight Up. By March 2012, Alcon Entertainment acquired the project. Alcon financed and produced the film; producers from Straight Up and Alcon joined together for the film. In the following June, director Christopher Nolan, for whom Pfister has worked as cinematographer, and Nolan's producing partner Emma Thomas joined the film as executive producers. By October 2012, actor Johnny Depp entered negotiations to star in Transcendence.

The Hollywood Reporter said Depp would have "a mammoth payday" with a salary of $20 million versus 15 percent of the film's gross. Pfister met with Noomi Rapace for the film's female lead role and also met with James McAvoy and Tobey Maguire for the other male lead role. The director offered a supporting role to Christoph Waltz.

In March 2013, Rebecca Hall was cast as the female lead. By the following April, actors Paul Bettany, Kate Mara, and Morgan Freeman joined the main cast.

Continuing his advocacy for the use of film stock over digital cinematography, Wally Pfister chose to shoot the film in the anamorphic format on 35mm film. The film is going through a traditional photochemical finish instead of a digital intermediate. The Chinese company DMG Entertainment entered a partnership with Alcon Entertainment to finance and produce the film. While DMG contributed Chinese elements to Looper and Iron Man 3, it did not do so for Transcendence.[15] Filming officially began in June 2013.

Transcendence is scheduled to be released in theaters on April 18, 2014. It was originally scheduled for April 25, 2014. Warner Bros. will distribute the film in the United States, and Summit Entertainment (through Lionsgate) will distribute it in other territories, except for China and the United Kingdom. DMG Entertainment, who collaborated with Alcon Entertainment to finance and develop Transcendence, will distribute the film in China.

Directed by: Wally Pfister
Starring: Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman, Kate Mara, Cillian Murphy, Clifton Collins, Jr.
Screenplay by: Jack Paglen
MPAA Rating: None.
Studio: Summit Entertainment, Lionsgate Films
Release Date: April 18, 2014

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