I’ve been following this film for years, ever since I covered the source book on the job for Miramax Films and they optioned it. I’ve been in touch with Writer/Producer Leslie Dixon as the project went from turnaround into production, as you can read here , so it’s safe to say I’ve been waiting for years to see this footage.First things first: they changed the title. Ugh.
The Dark Fields, the same name as the novel by Alan Glynn (which is terrific), is now Limitless. I’m not a fan of generic titles (Unstoppable, How Do You Know, Hereafter — all underperformers from this year); they are SO easy to forget and are often the case of a studio renaming a film so it will feel more palatable to a broad audience, which often backfires as it just makes it less appealing when compared to the other films at the multiplex, which either have built-in audiences or more specific titles. I hope that’s not the case here.
As for the trailer, I’m very glad that they settled on Bradley Cooper over Shia LaBeouf; Cooper’s not only a better actor but LaBeouf just played a similarly-arc’d character in the Wall Street sequel, which relates to my main concern in watching this trailer.
I’m concerned that they’re making the film look to be yet another riff on the Hollywood “wish fulfillment” rise and fall type story, where the young underdog is suddenly thrust into the world of the powerful, sexy and wealthy (recently, we’ve had 21, The Social Network and Middle Men to name a few). Money, drugs and women — what would you do if you got all these things tomorrow?
We’ve seen most of these elements before, but there’s much more to the source material that should come out in the film — if they haven’t cut the dark stuff, that is — the plot takes some very shocking turns and the Central Dramatic Question provides an unrelenting throughline (a “relentless push forward”). There’s some very current themes that the story explores and that I’m betting would especially appeal to creative people.
This is hinted at in the viral PSA below, which is so much more entertaining than the trailer, IMHO…
Now that’s more like it. And that’s the hook of this story: would you keep taking a drug that gives you the ability to tap 100% of your brain if you knew it had incredibly destructive side-effects?
The protagonist writes an entire novel in four days (although I seem to remember that it was one day in the book).
What if you could write a new spec script before dinner?
On that note, I need more coffee.
Good Luck and Happy Writing,