The 76-year-old actor has worked with countless A-list stars during his long and illustrious career, but never had a chance to work with Depp until now.
“There were three or four attractions to the role, one being Johnny himself,” Freeman tells Today. “Always wanted to have a shot at working with him.”
Depp portrays artificial intelligence researcher Will Caster in the new movie. Caster and his work become the target of extremists opposed to technological advancement, and the researcher’s brain is uploaded to his computer after he is shot. Caster’s mind gains control over mass technology, and becomes a seemingly unstoppable force capable of anything.
“This is a question we should be pondering,” Freeman says of the plot. “The question is, OK, so we can use this technology, but how far should it go before we realize we’re no longer in control of it?”
“It’s not an easy thing to do, because in order to stop technology you’ve got to shut the world down,” he adds.
The actor portrays Joseph Tagger, a fellow researcher and mentor to Caster, in the new movie. Rebecca Hall also stars as Caster’s wife, Evelyn.
Transcendence marks longtime cinematographer Wally Pfister’s directorial debut. The film debuts in theaters on April 18.