For a first-time director, Wally Pfister has landed one of the most coveted honors in the movies business.
No, not an Oscar — which Pfister already has for Inception‘s cinematography. Instead, Christopher Nolan’s go-to director of photography has nabbed a rare day-and-date release in China and the U.S. on April 18, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Moreover, the Chinese version of the film will be available in 3-D, while it will screen only in conventional 2-D theaters in the States.
This is a huge boost for Alcon Entertainment and Warner Bros., which co-produced the movie with China’s DMG. Many American blockbusters see their profits minimized by piracy in the gap between when they open in the U.S. and when they open in China, the world’s second-largest movie market. Last year, Iron Man 3, which was also co-produced by DMG, opened in China two days before it opened in the U.S., and it went on to become the Asian country’s second-biggest grosser of 2013, making $121.2 million. Fast & Furious 6, on the other hand, opened in China two months after it debuted in the U.S.; that film settled for $66.5 million.
Transcendence stars Johnny Depp as a brilliant artificial-intelligence futurist who becomes more than he ever dreamed when his consciousness is uploaded to the server. The film co-stars Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, Paul Bettany, and Kate Mara. It’s Pfister’s first directing job after shooting seven of Nolan’s films, as well as Moneyball.