Johnny Depp is reportedly in talks to star in "Transcendence," a sci-fi film about an evil computer and helmed by Oscar-winning director Wally Pfister, who worked on Christopher Nolan's films, including his Batman trilogy.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Depp, is set to earn a whopping $20 million in advance, against 15 percent of the movie's gross profit at the box office. Such deals are rare and are given to the most elite actors, actresses and directors. Depp, studio Alcon Entertainment and distributor Warner Bros. Studios have not commented.
"Transcendence" has been compared to Nolan's 2010 movie "Inception" as well as the iconic sci-fi movie "2001: A Space Odyssey." The new film is about a man who creates a computer that possesses a "malevolent awareness." Depp's character then gets sucked into the evil machine, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"I'm thrilled and feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Johnny," Pfister told the outlet. "He is a creative and intelligent artist whom I feel will bring great depth to the character and the overall narrative."
The movie marks Pfister's directorial debut. He previously worked as a cinematographer on "Inception," which earned him his first Oscar and fourth Academy Award nomination, as well as Nolan's 2000 movie "Memento" and recent Batman trilogy - "Batman Begins," "The Dark Knight" and "The Dark Knight Rises." In addition, he has also worked on films such as "The Prestige," "Moneyball" and "The Italian Job."
Production on "Transcendence" is slated to begin in early 2013. Pfister told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune earlier this month that the movie is "a present-day science fiction film, a fairly big concept," adding: "It's bigger budget - not as big as "Batman," but not independent."
The script for "Transcendence" is being penned by Jack Paglen and the movie also marks his screenwriting debut.
Depp, a 49-year-old three-time Oscar nominee, is best known for Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" films and Tim Burton flicks such as "Edward Scissorhands," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" and "Sweeney Todd" but he has in the past starred in a sci-fi movie - "The Astronaut's Wife" in 1999. (Check out photos of Johnny Depp in his many roles over the years)
According to Forbes, Depp earned $30 million between May 2011 and May 2012, during which he reprised his part as Captain Jack Sparrow in the fourth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie - "On Stranger Tides." He took a pay cut for his role as Tonto in Disney's new film "The Lone Ranger," which ran into budget problems. It is slated for release on July 3, 2013. See photos from "The Lone Ranger").
Depp is also expected to reprise his role in the fifth "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie.