It looks like the creators of movie spinoff TV series Limitless aren’t doing things by halves. Helmed by original director Neil Burger, with The Amazing Spider-Man director Marc Webb also on board, and even Bradley Cooper reprising his role as Eddie Morra, Limitless looks like the real deal. New star Jake McDorman, who plays the series’ leading man, explained to us the differences between his character, Brian Finch, and Morra.
“They start out in a similar place, and there’s an element of wish fulfilment,” he tells us. “Which is really exciting when you suddenly have access to all these incredible powers… that kind of happens when anyone takes it, so there’s this similar thought in the pilot of ‘Holy shit, I can do these incredible things that I never thought I could do,’ and that was one of the most fun parts of the movie, getting in a fight: ‘Holy shit, I know how to fight now.’
“Brian has a similar experience; that honeymoon period with NZT, but Eddie’s thinking is much larger scale: ‘As long as I have access to this drug, the sky’s the limit,’ whereas Brian’s much more short-sighted. He gets mixed up with the FBI, and gets involved in an offer he can’t refuse… to help them solve crimes on a case-by-case basis, almost like their personal Benedict Cumberbatch.”
As a fan of the original 2011 film, McDorman was thrilled to be cast in the series. He tells us it was actually Cooper – who he worked with on American Sniper – who got him the role. “It was a really cool concept, and I was glad it was going in the way of Fargo the series, where it wasn’t going to re-cast the characters from the movie and do them in a different medium. It was going to take that universe and expand it, and I think that’s a good move.
“When you have a concept like Limitless, it’s just a bonus, because you get to explore the effects of the pill and what it does in greater depth with more hours of content. I’m always looking two or three seasons ahead, especially with this show, because it raises so many different questions… like ‘What happens to somebody’s morality when they’re consistently in this elevated state?’
The new series follows Finch’s journey with the limitless drug, as well as his eventual liaison with the FBI.
“What’s interesting about the show is that it centres around addiction in a weird way. If you think about it, the lead character is a junkie that is enabled to keep taking this pill by the FBI. I feel like there’s this is a very cool world to explore, but every episode has that wish fulfilment to it.
“It’s so much fun to all of a sudden become amazing at an instrument or give life advice to anyone you meet on the street. It’s just really fun – the effects of NZT are a really fun thing to explore, and I think everybody can vicariously live through those experiences.”
Limitless will air from 22 September in the US on CBS, with a UK air date to follow. For more on the biggest TV shows, pick up the latest issue of SciFiNow.