Johnny Depp on BBC’s The Graham Norton Show

Johnny Depp may be heading from the Old West to the future as he is in negotiations to star in Wally Pfister’s directorial debut film ‘Transcendence.’

Pfister’s name may sound very familiar to Christopher Nolan fans as ‘The Dark Knight’ director seems to use him as his go to cinematographer using him on such projects as the ‘Dark Knight’ trilogy, ‘Prestige’ and ‘Inception’ to name a few.  In fact, Pfister has been nominated for an Academy Award for his work on ‘Batman Begins,’ ‘The Dark Knight’ and ‘Prestige’ and won an Oscar for ‘Inception.’

It’s been no secret that Pfister has wanted to get into directing and now he has that chance with Nolan helping the way producing the project with his wife Emma Thomas.

THR is reporting that if Depp signs on, he will receive $20 million or 15% of the gross whichever figure is larger to be in the film. This is a rather unusual deal as most actors usually get a percentage of the profits of a film and not the gross. Apparently Depp is also waiting to see a new draft of the screenplay before actually committing.

“I’m thrilled and feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Johnny,” Pfister said in a statement. “He is a creative and intelligent artist whom I feel will bring great depth to the character and the overall narrative.”

Pfister is borrowing a page out of Nolan’s book and is keeping plot details under wraps but sources describe ‘Transcendence’ as ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ meet ‘Inception.’ The story will center on a “man who creates a computer that develops a malevolent awareness.” Depp, if he accepts the deal, will play the lead role of the husband who gets sucked into this computer.

Depp isn’t the only recognizable name to be approached to star in ‘Transcendence’ as it’s also reported that Pfister has met with Noomi Rapace (‘Prometheus,’ ‘Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’) to play the film’s female lead and an offer has already been given to Christoph Waltz (‘The Three Musketeers,’ ‘The Green Hornet’) for a supporting role. Pfister has also indicted that he would like to sign on James McAvoy (‘X-Men: First Class,’ ‘Wanted’) or Toby Maguire (‘Spider-Man’) to take on the other male lead role.

More news will follow shortly as the project is slated to go in front of cameras sometime early next year.