LIMITLESS, a psychological smart drug thriller, from Relativity Media and Neil Burger introduces the world to the next great super power.
LIMITLESS, produced by Tucker Tooley (The Fighter), Bradley Cooper and Jason Felts, brings the smarter, quicker, faster approach to the big screen in a film written by Leslie Dixon.
LIMITLESS stars Robert De Niro as Carl Van Loon, a financial wizard and Bradley Cooper as Eddie Morra, the down on his luck writer who pops up on Van Loon’s radar after an accelerated, impossible, fast track, rise.
The premise of LIMITLESS, a combination of PHENOMENON meets WALL STREET meets MIT, revolves around a struggling New York writer who lives the life of angst, downing coffee and starring at a blank screen, perpetually complaining of his inability to put pen to paper or what is commonly known as Writer’s Block. Eddie Morra, played by Bradley Cooper, lives Writer’s Block, he dresses Writer’s Block grunge chic, he believes Writer’s Block will guarantee him the next great American, Writer’s Block angst filled, novel of “How I Overcame Writer’s Block.”
He is the last of the Corporate hold outs, wanting the same things as his college buddies and yet unwilling to sell out through the traditional routes. Enter an old friend who turns him on to a top secret allegedly FDA approved mind opening, smart drug, NZT. The alleged FDA trials indicate the smart drug will empower the user to reach their greatest, limitless potential and unlock untapped areas of the brain. As the world utilizes ten percent of brain power through NZT access to one’s brain power is limitless.
Enter Robert De Niro as Carl Van Loon, a savvy corporate financial genius who knows, without doubt, that there is something or someone behind the stratospheric rise of Eddie Morra. Employing the adage, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer” De Niro mentors the talk of the town writer and phenomenon, like Michael Douglas to Charlie Sheen in Oliver Stone’s WALL STREET, and suddenly the toys, the women, the fun, the fast cars, THE LIFE, all come easy.
LIMITLESS, progresses with De Niro, a self-made, suffered through the ranks, power broker so intrigued that he shadows Eddie until he uncovers the catalyst to his sudden power. When the power pendulum shifts, the master becomes the slave and without giving away the ending one can easily determine who rules; it’s just in what arena.
Below are excerpts from the New York City LIMITLESS Press Conference. **
MODERATOR: Okay, great. I’m going to ask the first question. Bradley, will you tell us a little bit about Eddie Morra? Who you saw in him as a character and how you came to choose this role?
BRADLEY COOPER: Well, I read the script, maybe eight months ago that Leslie Dixon wrote based on a novel by Alan Glynn, an Irishman who wrote, I think, in 2001 or 2004 called The Dark Fields. She wrote this incredible script, just really incredible script with a phenomenal character, Eddie. His last name wasn’t Morra then. And I met with Neil Burger, ’cause I just thought, ‘Oh, wow. To play a guy that goes from A to Z like that would just be incredible.’ So I met with him to just try to basically pitch him why I had to play it. And then, I think about six months later we got the offer to do it. And then it was about hopefully getting it made.
The question was, ‘What do I think of Eddie Morra?’ Yeah. I loved him. I liked the idea that when we meet him, it’s not that he feels sorry for himself at all. He’s just actually resigned to the fact that his life is such that his potential wasn’t fulfilled. And that’s where we meet him that day. There’s something about that. It was cool that he had a book contract when he was twenty-five and he talks about how great it’s going to be. But when he’s thirty-five and it still hasn’t been written, it’s just not cool anymore.
And to then see a guy who goes from this complacency to then having power and what he does with that power and what his plan is, which I still don’t know. I mean, you’re left in the movie, you really don’t know. His plan was not to make money at all. He says when he comes out of the water, “I had a plan and money was going to let me make, allow me to get there.” But, then in the end, he’s in politics. So, what was this guy up to? And I liked him. I thought he was a good guy, actually. I enjoyed his, I enjoyed– I liked playing old Eddie a lot. The crew did, too. We would lament the days where the wig wasn’t there. We said, are we gonna take the wig out? We liked old Eddie.
MODERATOR: Excellent. In case you were not in the room, we have Leslie Dixon, our writer, Neil Burger, our director, and Mr. Robert De Niro.
ROBERT DE NIRO: Hi. How are you?
MODERATOR: I’m just, actually, first going to introduce Neil and have him talk a little bit about this film, and introduce also Leslie and Robert.
NEIL BURGER: Hi, everyone. Thanks for coming. So, I’m sure you know what the movie’s about. I don’t know if you’ve all seen it or not. So it’s kind of a crazy story about a guy on a smart drug. And it’s really started from a book called Dark Fields by Alan Glynn. Then Leslie found it and she can tell you the story herself and made it into a fantastic screenplay. Actually, what struck me about it when, I first read it is a truer depiction of power in New York and intelligence and the way the characters were depicted. The book is great. And the screenplay, the way Leslie did it was even better. So, that’s what I know about Leslie.
LESLIE DIXON: Well, I read the book for pleasure. I was so burned out reading bad thrillers and galleys that studios wanted to turn into movies, and I went into the Green Apple Bookstore in San Francisco and asked the geeks who worked there, because they have read everything, ‘What can I read that won’t suck?’ Just give me, it doesn’t have to be at the highest intellectual plane, but it should have some substance and it shouldn’t be an anvil to turn the pages. They said, ‘We’ve got it. We’ve got it. This is the bomb.’ And they gave me The Dark Fields. And I was not looking for a job or an adaptation. I just wanted to read a book. But I got about halfway through it and sat up in bed and went, ‘This is mine. I’m going to turn this into a movie.’
And there were pinwheels in my eyes. I was quickly brought down to earth because Harvey Weinstein owned the rights. It was a little too good of a premise. I wasn’t the first person who had noticed that perhaps it had some commercial potential. And so that is another story that I perhaps won’t suck up the oxygen in this air telling you, but I snaked him out of the rights to the book, made away with them.
Even though I admire him very much, I did not want to make the film at Miramax, which was, at the time, imploding. I ended up snaking him out of therights and writing a script and getting it set up and getting Neil, and the ball kind of rolled from there. I got a little help from Niccolo Machiavelli in how I did it. But if anyone wants that story, they can have it later. It’s the most evil thing I’ve ever done.
NEIL BURGER: Once we had the ball rolling and once Bradley was involved, and as there’s a character Carl Van Loon in the story and we just needed somebody who, to me, the, the story’s about intelligence and han potential, but very much about power. And power in New York City, but just power in general. And we needed a very powerful character to play Carl Van Loon. Somebody that was if Bradley Cooper’s on this smart drug, we needed somebody who was powerful just in their own right. All of us thought, Leslie, and Scott Kroopf, who’s the other producer who better than, than Robert De Niro to be that guy. And also it was very important to have somebody who offset if Bradley Cooper’s character was taking a shortcut, as it were, by taking this drug, this was somebody who’d put in the hard work, put in the time, paid his dues, and was just, strong and powerful in his own. And we needed somebody who just embodied that from, from the get-go. You took one look at him and you were impressed, intimidated. You understood where he was coming from and so, we were lucky enough to get Bob.
ROBERT DE NIRO: Thanks, Neil.
LIMITLESS opens in theaters everywhere, Friday, March 18, 2011.
For more information on LIMITLESS: http://www.iamrogue.com/limitless
The LIMITLESS Official FaceBook Page: http://www.facebook.com/LimitlessMovie
** Press Conference Transcripts provided by EPK.TV
Janet Walker, LIMITLESS, A Relativity Media Film, Hosts Their Press Junket, Yahoo! Contributor Network.