Movies-turned television series have been around for some time (MASH, after all, was based on Robert Altman’s film), but they seem to be enjoying a resurgence in popularity of late. Case in point: last year, A&E began airing the Psycho prequel series Bates Motel and NBC premiered the Red Dragon-inspired show Hannibal. Meanwhile, there are currently a handful of properties that are transitioning from the big to small screen medium – including, Fargo and the American Psycho sequel TV series (both call FX their home).
Relativity is now partnering with Georgeville Television to produce a Limitless TV series, based on the 2011 sci-fi drama/thriller starring Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Abbie Cornish. The film’s script by Leslie Dixon – a very loose adaptation of the novel The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn – revolves around a struggling writer (Cooper), who begins taking a non-FDA-approved medical drug that allows him to access one-hundred percent of his brain’s abilities. Cooper’s protagonist begins to evolve into a more intelligent, charismatic and financially-successful version of his previous self but, as is always the case, all that comes at a price…
The Limitless television series’ behind the scenes team will feature Cooper and Dixon as executive producers, along with their fellow producer on the original film, Scott Kroopf. Deadline is reporting that the project will be formally announced at the upcoming MIPCOM market in Cannes, but Relativity CEO Ryan Kavanaugh has gone ahead and released the following statement:
“Limitless is the perfect example of Relativity’s multiplatform approach to creating quality content. The film has an organic natural extension into a compelling and sophisticated one-hour drama that is both a thrill-ride and a social commentary.”
All things considered, a Limitless TV series seems like a reasonable proposition, given that the film’s sci-fi concept is (arguably) more fascinating than the characters played by Cooper, De Niro and so on. It could be interesting to see the variation in effects that the NZT-48 drug has on different people explored through a weekly TV show format. Theoretically, that might be in addition to an over-arching storyline that uses the fictional drug as a jumping-off point for a larger examination of the food and drug industry (by it having ties to NZT-fueled politicians and/or corporation figureheads, building on the ideas proposed in the original movie).
Having that said, Limitless (admittedly) doesn’t lend itself to a serialized format quite as readily as a sci-fi thriller like Source Code (reported to be spinning off into a TV series almost two years ago now). However, its premise does call for a TV iteration that has a strong(er) cinematic vibe – with technical elements like the visual trickery that director Neil Burger used in the original Limitless film (a means to express how Cooper’s character’s perception of the world alters from the norm), for example.
And now that more and more TV shows are striving to incorporate more cinematic techniques into their structure – be they the big cable-based series (ex. Game of Thrones) or even the shows that air on commercial broadcasting networks (ex. Hannibal) – it would be fitting for a Limitless TV series to emulate the movie that inspired it, in that respect.
Do you have any interest in watching a Limitless TV series? If so, what direction would you like to see the show take (or, rather, do you expect the show to take), when it comes to building an over-arching narrative based on the concept of a drug that lets you use your brain to its full capacity?
We’ll keep you posted on development of the Limitless TV series as the story develops.