The cast for the much-anticipated Transcendence is starting to take shape. Christopher Nolan’s longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister is making his directorial debut on the secretive project, and Johnny Depp is set to star in the lead role. Today it was announced that Paul Bettany has boarded the pic, though details regarding his role are being kept firmly under wraps. The story is rumored to revolve around a scientist whose brain gets uploaded into a supercomputer with the aim of creating the world’s first machine that can think for itself. Actresses rumored for the female lead include Rooney Mara, Rebecca Hall, and Emily Blunt, but we haven’t heard anything on that front in a while.
Nolan is exectuvie producing the project, which was written by Jack Paglen. Production begins this April in Los Angeles and Warner Bros. is eyeing a “mid 2014” release date, so I expect this will be a big, mind-bending summer tentpole not unlike Inception. Hit the jump to read the full press release.
LOS ANGELES, CA, FEBRUARY 28, 2013 – Paul Bettany is in negotiations to star with Academy Award nominee Johnny Depp in Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister’s directorial debut,TRANSCENDENCE, it was announced by Broderick Johnson and Andrew Kosove, co-founders and co-CEOs of Alcon Entertainment, which is financing and producing the project.
Principal photography is set to begin in April in Los Angeles. Warner Bros. will release in mid 2014 via its output deal with Alcon.
The screenplay, written by Jack Paglen, was developed by Annie Marter and Straight Up Films, whose company principals include Marisa Polvino, Kate Cohen and Regency Boies. Polvino, Marter and Cohen will produce along with David Valdes (“Book of Eli”), Johnson and Kosove. Boies will co-produce.
Christopher Nolan, Emma Thomas and Aaron Ryder are serving as executive producers.
Bettany most recently appeared in the box office mega hit “The Avengers,” and will next be reprising the voice of “Jarvis” in “Iron Man 3” for Paramount. Bettany notably starred in “A Beautiful Mind,” which earned him a SAG nomination, “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the Moon,” for which he received a BAFTA nomination, “The Da Vinci Code,” and “The Young Victoria,” among many others.
Pfister most recently served as cinematographer on “The Dark Knight Rises,” and on last year’s best picture nominee, “Moneyball.” Other credits include such films as “The Italian Job” and “Laurel Canyon.”
Bettany is repped by UTA and Affirmative Entertainment.