Chances are good that when someone drops the name Bradley Cooper, you think “the handsome goofball from The A-Team and The Hangover” – not “the most intelligent man on Earth.” But that’s exactly the role Mr. Cooper will be playing in the upcoming sci-fi thriller/satire, Limitless.

An official trailer and poster have been released for Limitless (formerly, The Dark Fields), which stars Cooper alongside Sucker Punch gal Abbie Cornish and Little Fockers star acting legend Robert De Niro.

Limitless is officially described as “a paranoia-fueled action thriller” that revolves around Eddie, a lowly copywriter and aspiring novelist who turns his life around by taking a new drug that allows him to use 100% of his total mental capacity. But exterior forces, including that of Wall Street type Carl Van Loon (De Niro – yes, that’s really his character’s name), threaten to destroy his newfound existence of wealth and riches – even as Eddie begins to experience the troubling side effects of his new medication.

The theatrical preview for Limitless more than hints at the film’s main themes (the dangers of science, the corrupting nature of power and money), but it’s difficult to asses whether the movie is more satire, sci-fi cautionary tale, drama, or thriller. Elements from all these genres will likely be present in Limitless, but is that a recipe for success – or disaster?

Watch the Limitless trailer (via Apple) below:

Neil Burger (The Illusionist) directed Limitless, which was scripted by Leslie Dixon – a writer whose credits range from the remakes of The Thomas Crown Affair and Freaky Friday to Mrs. Doubtfire and the musical Hairspray. Going off Dixon’s resume, it seems like Limitless could be more darkly comedic than the trailer lets on – which makes the casting of Cooper perhaps more appropriate.

It’s difficult to assess from this theatrical preview alone whether Limitless will be simultaneously clever and exciting – or just fall flat on its face. We will say this: Kanye West’s hit single, “Power,” was much more effectively used in The Social Network TV spot released last summer than it was in the Limitless trailer, truth be told.

Check out the Limitless poster below:

Limitless arrives in U.S. theaters on March 18th, 2011.