'Limitless': 5 Facts About Bradley Cooper's No. 1 Thriller

New details about the top box office hit.

The Hollywood Reporter has behind-the-scenes info you may not have known about Limitless, the man-swallows-a-pill-to-access-100%-of-his-brain thriller that topped the weekend box office. 

1. Maserati gave the production two cars for free.

Maserati North America donated two $120,000 vehicles to the production. On its own dime, the company shipped the cars to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in two weeks' time and had no objections to them being thrashed on the resort town's narrow cobblestone streets.

2. A promotion disguised as a video caught on exactly as planned.

A movie promotion disguised as a regular YouTube video went viral, generating more than 1.4 million pageviews in a week. Produced by viral marketing firm Thinkmodo, it shows a man using a small electronic device to hack into video screens in Times Square to play a video from his phone. One of the screens in the promo is showing a trailer for Limitless.

3. Bradley Cooper was not the film's original star.

Shia LaBeouf was originally cast in the lead role played by Bradley Cooper. LaBeouf dropped out of the project after breaking his hand and fingers in a car accident.

4. Bradley Cooper lobbied Robert De Niro to play the role of corporate king Carl Van Loon.  

De Niro told the Sydney Morning Herald that the role wasn't his most challenging career moment but "I wanted to work with Bradley and Neil [Burger, director]," De Niro says. "Sometimes, even when it's not perfect, you do it to work with people so you can work with them again later on. You establish a relationship."

5. Limitless is director Neil Burger's first outing as a helmer on a project that he did not write himself.

The Yale University grad had previously written and directed Interview with the Assassin (2002), The Lucky Ones (2008) and The Illusionist (2006), starring Paul Giamatti and Edward Norton.

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