In the next few days, all the networks will have completed their pilot orders for the upcoming 2015/2016 television season, which will then lead to the next phase of the operation: talent searching. However, one series has already found a piece of its ever evolving team: CBS’s Limitless.
According to new reports, Neil Burger – the director of the original Limitless film starring Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro – has stepped down as director of the sequel series’ pilot episode. Instead, the job will now be taken up by The Amazing Spider-Man’s Marc Webb.
“Written/executive produced by Craig Sweeny, Limitless follows Brian Sinclair [a new character to the movie’s existing universe], as he discovers the power of the mysterious drug NZT and is coerced into using his newfound drug-enhanced abilities to solve weekly cases for the FBI.”
In addition to Bergur and Sweeny, the series will be executive produced by Cooper, as well as Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci.
Change-ups like this are not uncommon for pilots. In this case, Burger was already tied up on another series he was shooting in NY and couldn’t make the schedule work. However, it’s a shame to see CBS opt for another high profile feature director to fill the void when there are plenty of highly capable television directors in the space that could do the show a service – by not only directing the pilot, but also sticking around to help develop the look of the series.
Unfortunately, when it comes to new shows, networks will take every marketing advantage they can get. Now, instead of just getting to write “from the producers of Scorpion and Hawaii Five-0” on the first trailer for Limitless come upfront time, CBS will now also be able to include “and from the director of The Amazing Spider-Man,” and that statement goes a long way to potential commercial space buys who want to get their ads on the next hot series.
Would Limitless benefit better from a director like Jon Cassar or David Nutter? In the long run, yes. Was it ever going to get that? The odds are doubtful.
Stay tuned for more on Limitless as it develops.