Aaron Swartz Movie Could See Christopher Nolan and Johnny Depp Team Up


Christopher Nolan is a fairly secretive filmmaker. However, his upcoming sci-fi epic Transcendence, starring Johnny Depp, has not remained secretive and several details about the plotline seem to have emerged.

Of course, if you like to go into a movie without knowing anything, these details are quite lengthy so read ahead at your own risk.

Three scientists, Max, Will, and Evelyn, are working on the world's fully aware supercomputer. Depp plays Will, who is also Evelyn's husband. An anti-technology terrorist group assassinates Will and Evelyn then uploads his brain to the supercomputer.

Up until this point, the details have been explicitly confirmed by producer Andrew Kosove, who said, "it is true Johnny Depp's brain is uploaded into a computer."

At first, the uploading process seems to have gone horribly wrong but, eventually, Evelyn starts to see that Will is responding. She connects her now-virtual husband to the internet so he can make further changes to the world of technology. At this point, Will asks his wife to hook him up to a microphone and camera so he can talk to her.

When the anti-technology organization behind Will's assassination learns of this cyber revival, they attempt to steal the supercomputer and destroy it. However, in a classic plot twist, Will no longer needs the supercomputer to survive.

In a plot point that seems to have already been removed, according to Kosove, Will would have created a backups of himself on every computer in the world, so he could further his work by accessing online databases.

A spokesman for Alcon Entertainment, one of the production companies behind the film, has stated that any supposedly leaked script may be dated and is subject to revision in the future.

Also, both the film's domestic distributor Warner Bros. and international distributor Lionsgate have referred questions to Alcon, so they seem to be sharing this stance. A Warner Bros. spokesperson has also declined to comment on what he called "speculation."

So far, there are no further casting details available for the story, but many rumored names have been effectively dismissed. Ewan McGregor has reportedly passed on an early draft of the script while Tom Hardy, a frequent collaborator of Nolan's, is not available due to scheduling,

Kosove has also confirmed that the oft-rumored Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, original Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) is not a part of the film while Kate Winslet is also unavailable.

Transcendence will mark the directing debut of Wally Pfister, a longtime cinematographer for Nolan's films, including hits such as Dark Knight Rises and Inception. Pfister had last made headlines when he called Marvel's The Avengers an "appalling movie."

Andrew Kosove is one of several producers for the film, including Broderick Johnson, Kate Cohen, Annie Marter, Marisa Polvino and David Valdes. Nolan and Emma Thomas serve as executive producers for the film, which is by Alcon Entertainment and Straight Up Films. 

Given the recent suicide of Internet activist Aaron Swartz, this movie seems like it can touch on a lot of the themes related to his life and attempts at information distribution. Depp's character is assassinated by those who are anti-technology, just as many consider Swartz a victim of those who are anti-transparency.

Whatever the case may be, the movie seems perfectly poised to explore that dimension and, as Nolan has shown in the past, he never shies away from a little politics.