For the longest time, noted cinematographer Wally Pfister’s upcoming artificial intelligence movie Transcendence almost seemed like a myth. We knew it would star Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany and Morgan Freeman, but we didn’t have a lengthy plot description or even any footage. Over the past few weeks, however, the curtain has finally started sliding back enough to generate some real excitement.

Back on the 10th of December, we got a crazy-sounding and surprisingly in depth plot description. Two days later, we got two stills from the movie, and now, in the best news yet, we got the extremely badass, sci-fi-splosion of a teaser embedded above.

The intellectually stimulating voiceover, which plays over binary code, outlines the concept of technological singularity, which is basically what the larger film is about. It follows Depp’s character, an artificial intelligence researcher, who may have figured out a way to upload the scope of all human intelligence and real emotions inside a sentient being. Thanks to some protests with unintended consequences, accomplishing his goal becomes very attainable, but those around him aren’t quite so sure that’s actually a good idea.

Because the science behind it is so fascinating, the success or failure of the film will likely rely on how well Depp can sell us on the modern day mad scientist. There will reportedly be a large emphasis on power and what it’s capable of doing to good men, and he’s going to need to bridge the gap between a relatable genius with initially honest intentions and a madman hellbent on upending society and behaving selfishly. He obviously has the acting chops to pull it off, but capability and execution are not one in the same, as the characters in this movie will likely use the runtime to prove.

Transcendence is scheduled to hit theaters on April 18. That means we should start getting some real footage very, very soon. Here’s to hoping it proves every bit as engrossing as this teaser.

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