'Limitless' TV Show Vs. Movie: How CBS Is Adding To The Film's Narrative & Creating Its Own
There's a new trend in fall TV this year that spans across networks: turning movies into TV shows. It's happening a few times for the 2015 television season, and one of the biggest examples is Limitless, the new CBS series that is a direct spinoff from the 2011 movie. Obviously a few changes had to be made to extend the story from a two-hour film to a full series, so how do the Limitless TV show and movie compare? Surprisingly, the adaptation seems to have a ton in common with its source material, adding on to that original plot while staying very true to the world it introduced.
The faithfulness is unexpected simply because whenever the reverse happens, and TV shows become movies, the result is usually a condensed ride through the entire series, hitting all major characters and backstories as quickly as possible (like what The Man from U.N.C.L.E. did this summer). But in the case of Limitless, there's no need to rush things. It has time to set up a brand new narrative, and introduce some new characters.
Here are the biggest differences and similarities from these two versions of Limitless.
Less Bradley Cooper
In the movie of Limitless, Cooper played the lead, Eddie. While he doesn't star in the CBS series, he does appear in the pilot episode to kick the action off and is open to returning for additional episodes. It's unclear from the TV promos how Eddie comes across our new hero, Brian (played by Greek and Manhattan Love Story's Jake McDorman), but whatever the case, it looks like he is here to help Brian get his stash of NZT-48.
Eddie Got A Promotion
Remember how movie Eddie was a writer? Now he's a senator, putting him one huge step closer to president.
The Drug Is Essentially The Same
Clearly, NZT-48 is still around. It appears to do the same thing on TV as it did in the movie, which is basically heighten the user's intelligence to a startling level.
There Are Still Government Conspiracies
The mystery — and also madness — surrounding NZT-48 carried over to TV. The end of the Limitless movie seemed to suggest that Eddie was left in charge of all production of the drug, but there could be others. Also, test subjects are being found dead. What's going on?
This Time Everyone Works Together
Instead of a Bradley Cooper vs. The World situation, it appears as if the guy with the NZT-48, Brian, and the FBI are going to work together on this. They'll use him as an asset, and he'll help solve crimes.
The Eyes Change Differently
This is a smaller detail, but in the movie, Eddie's eyes changed color whenever he took NZT-48. In the TV show, it appears as if Brian's pupils dilate instead. This could mean that it's actually a new form of NZT-48, or the formula has changed in some way.
The Limitless TV show will surely diverge from the movie in many more ways over its run, but for now, it seems like a faithful adaptation that still has plenty of room to play with its own narrative.
Images: Jeff Neumann/CBS; Giphy