Wally Pfister is a name that might not be known by everyone, but he’s certainly an artist whose work everyone has seen. Pfister has been working as a camera operator since the late ’80s, and has regularly been getting gigs as a Director of Photography since the early 2000s. He is, however, primarily known as the DP that Christopher Nolan uses on all his features. This is the guy who shot Memento, who got nominated for cinematography Oscars for Batman Begins, The Prestige, and The Dark Knight, and who finally won one for Inception. To say that he knows how to shoot a scene would be a bit of an understatement.
But now he’s ready to take a more hands on approach to all of the other aspects of filmmaking, by taking his first crack at directing a feature. His first project, Transcendence, comes from a script by newcomer Jack Paglen and has been developed by Straight Up Films. Any details as to what the film is about are being kept tightly under wraps, but what isn’t being treated like a secret is the big name actor who they’ve snagged to star.
The film’s distributor, Alcon Entertainment, announced today [via ComingSoon] that Johnny Depp is negotiating to head a cast that’s scheduled to start shooting early next year. Now, the word “negotiating” has been used here, so it would seem that everything isn’t yet 100% official, but seeing as the distributor has already made an announcement, one would have to think that everything is pretty close to getting done. They’ve even got a quote from Pfister about how much he’s looking forward to working with Depp.
The soon-to-be director said, “I’m thrilled, and feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Johnny. He is a creative and intelligent artist whom I feel will bring great depth to the character and the overall narrative.” Seeing as the details of the film are still being kept close to the vest, there’s no telling what sort of silly wig and ridiculous makeup Depp has planned to don while playing his character, but we’ll keep you updated as soon as that information becomes available.