“Our Voice Is Our Voice,” the ‘Super Pumped’ EPs say of bringing the ‘Billions’ experience to Showtime’s Uber Saga: “Our Voice Is Our Voice” – TCA.
Super Pumped: The Battle For Uber will be reminiscent to fans of Showtime’s drama Billions in more ways than one, from the plot of a struggling entrepreneur wanting to shake up his business to some of the talents that appear throughout the second.
Executive producers Brian Koppelman, David Levien, and Beth Schacter said they sensed the similarities when depicting the growth of Uber for Showtime during a TCA event on Wednesday.
“Our voice is our voice, and that’s not an accident,” Koppelman explained. “Everyone who does this for a long time…works from their most connected location.”
Showtime’s Super Pumped, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Uma Thurman, and Kyle Chandler, explores the story of a ride-sharing firm that is both a marvel and a cautionary tale, with internal and external struggles that have unforeseeable effects. Mike Isaac’s bestselling novel of the same name serves as the basis for the series.
Gordon-Uber Levitt’s CEO Travis Kalanick is at the core of the series, continuing Billions co-creators Koppelman and Levien’s tradition of focusing on ambitious disruptors. Levien discussed the parallels between his fictitious Billions characters and Super Pumped’s portrayal of a Silicon Valley behemoth.
“We’ve seen that what they accomplish in their job and in their personal lives is quite important to them.” “It’s nearly a life-or-death situation,” he explained. “Because it’s so central to their identity, the stakes for these folks are really high.”
Working on Super Pumped feels like flexing the “same muscle, but [with] a different supply,” according to Schacter.
Despite the familiar atmosphere and collaboration with fellow Billions executive producers, Koppelman said Super Pumped takes a unique approach since “our lead actors are not folks who were in Billions, and they each bring a different timing and a different perspective” to the screenplay.
Gordon-Levitt, Thurman, and Chandler all discussed the research that went into portraying their real-life counterparts. Chandler says he studied Mike Isaac’s book before taking on the role of Bill Gurley, claiming it would be his first time playing a real-life character.
Thurman, who said she’d met Arianna Huffington before, said she listened to dozens of hours of Huffington’s speeches to figure out how she spoke. Gordon-Levitt revealed that he not only prepared for the role by reading but also visited with others who had previously interacted with Kalanick to assist him represent the CEO “vinner,” a.k.a. “sinner and villain.”
Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber, which launches on Netflix on February 27, arrives at a time when practically every platform seems to have its own take on controversial entrepreneurs and crooks, from Netflix’s Inventing Anna’s to Apple TV+’s WeCrashed.
The EPs claim that they didn’t make the show fit into any kind of trend. “Travis isn’t a con man,” Schacter stated, bolstering the claim.
“He willed an entire sector into existence.” “We wanted to prosecute the manner of the process,” she explained.
Executive producers, writers, and showrunners are Koppelman, Levien, and Beth Schacter. Also executive producing are Paul Schiff, Stephen Schiff, and Allyce Ozarski, with Isaac serving as co-executive producer.