*Morgan Freeman may have played God twice on the big screen, but in his latest film “Transcendence,” it’s Johnny Depp who gets to feel like the Alpha and the Omega.
He plays artificial intelligence researcher Dr. Will Caster, striving to create a super computer that “combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the ability to feel the full range of human emotion,” a process he calls “transcendence.”
His work has a contingent of haters – anti-technology extremists who place a target on his back, but inadvertently give the good doctor exactly what he wants…a chance to be the guinea pig who transcends.
Caster – no longer in his body, but in the machine – starts feeling his omnipresence. His knowledge and power is now as vast and endless as the Internet that his brain has absorbed. And the question inevitably becomes, has technology now officially gone too far? For Caster, it clearly has.
“I think Will is dedicated to the cause, and yeah, maybe power when you realize essentially that you’re God,” Depp said at the film’s press conference this week. “There ain’t nothing on earth more powerful than you. You can do anything you want. You can transfer every cent from the Bank of England into an account in Syria or whatever. I think Will was just so focused on the cause and it’s sort of like Che Guevara in a way. You get too far into it.”
Freeman plays Joseph Tagger, part of a team sent out to mitigate the damage after Caster’s consciousness is uploaded into the computer. Despite the growing concerns of Caster’s wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) and best friend Max Waters (Paul Bettany), both researchers as well, Caster not only continues his quest for power, but has seemingly achieved his goal of expressing human emotions through the machine – or so he thinks.
At the press conference, Freeman really wanted to know how a computer can feel human emotion like falling in love. Screenwriter Jack Paglen had an answer.
“Transcendence” opens April 18 nationwide. Watch the trailer below.