Update: The Playlist has learned the film does not deal with stem cell research nor is it a drama. Hopefully more details emerge soon.
Perhaps this is why plot details were being kept guarded? Among the many political issues that earn hot-button status, stem cell research is near the top. But basing a $120 million movie starring Johnny Depp around the subject? That's pretty damn ballsy.
While info has been under lock and key for cinematographer Wally Pfister's directorial debut "Transcendence," The Wrap has quietly spilled a few details and they will surely get the Twittersphere to light up. In addition to the aforementioned budget, the trade reveals that "the story follows three scientists,
attempting work on stem cell and advanced computer technology, which will change the fundamentals of human life. Tension comes into play when they are met by protest and resistance." The Film Stage has also learned that the story also include a character “who creates a computer that develops a malevolent awareness” with comparisons to "2001: A Space Odyssey" and "Inception" being tossed around.
Obviously, with this kind of money being involved, we'd wager there is probably another element to this story that is not being discussed, that will involve some kind of special effects. Either that, or this will be one very expensive drama. Either way, it's pretty easy to see why A-listers are needed for this one given the budget, and we'll be curious as to who else will come on board the film.
Executive produced by Pfister's longtime collaborators Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas, production begins in February. Warner Bros. will release the picture.