Wally Pfister‘s Transcendence (Warner Bros., 4.17) opens on Friday. It looks and sounds like a reasonably intelligent sci-fier. Expensive-looking, lots of special effects, produced by Chris Nolan and Emma Thomas, etc. I wasn’t invited to last Friday afternoon’s screening but I’ll be attending tomorrow night’s all-media. Obviously there’s no buzz out there. I’m getting an idea that Transcendence is like a freshly-born, wobbly-legged zebra, still damp with placenta, and there are 10 or 15 wild dogs approaching. (I am not one of them. I have no interest in seeing this film get eaten.) A fair-minded, somewhat less-than-enthused friend says it’s “well made [but] I think it’s going to confuse people…I don’t know that the audience is going to latch onto it that strongly…it’s not that hooky an idea.”

In a 4.8 report by Thompson on Hollywood’s Valentina Valentini about a National Association of Broadcasters Convention panel, Pfister revealed that a dramatic line in the Transcendence trailer — Morgan Freeman uttering ‘It will be the end of mankind as we know it’ — wasn’t his idea. “That line is not in the movie,” Pfister told attendees at the panel, saying that WB’s marketing team put it in there. “I’d never write something like that.”