Pfister Had To Earn His Big Twist Ending
A twist ending needs to be earned. Dropping a big surprise into the end of a story with zero build up is tremendously unsatisfying for an audience and considered rather lazy on the screenwriting end of things. On the other hand, keeping movie-goers guessing from beginning to end not only rewards them with an unexpected finish, but also gives the story more value on rewatch. Wally Pfister was all too mindful of this setting up the big ending of Transcendence, and found balancing the good and evil of technology as his gateway towards his twisty conclusion.

"By the end of the movie you’re asking this question, ‘Is this machine evil? Is this machine hell-bent on destroying the world?’" Pfister said. "Everything he does is for her. What I want people to do is not to take a side, but to be confused as to what side they should be on - because they want to take a side."

As for Pfister’s own conclusions about the science of artificial intelligence and the approach of the singularity, the director explained that all that really matters is the person controlling it. "If we’re asking what I’m concluding in the film, it’s probably the conclusion is that technology can be used or can be used for bad, depending on whose hands it’s in."

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