If the shot above looks exceptionally (or Inception-ally) familiar, it might be because it’s from the first film directed by Wally Pfister, Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer. In Transcendence, which hits theaters April 18, Depp plays a computer scientist (below) studying “the singularity,” the point at which artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence. “It’s a very timely subject as we find we have to update the software on our cell phones before we can even make a call,” says Pfister. Depp’s character literally gets uploaded into the mainframe, becoming a ghost in the machine (above, with costars Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy, and Rebecca Hall) after he’s attacked by anti-technology activists. It’s an out-there premise, even if the film’s star is looking uncharacteristically tame. “I don’t think we’ve seen him this way in a long time,” says Pfister, laughing. “Just a pair of glasses on and a pretty normal haircut.”
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