Project Greelight: Merie W. Wallace
Carina Chocano and Joshua Rich
August 22, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

”There’s no conspiracy, I can tell you that. Except maybe the aliens that have inhabited [directors] Kyle and Efram.” — Chris Moore, executive producer, HBO’s ”Project Greenlight”

We want to believe the big guy, but something smells fishy. Is ”Greenlight” (season 2 wraps Aug. 24) on the up-and-up? Were the bumpkin directors fingered for patsies from the start? Was the screenwriter asked to take a dive? It wouldn’t take a genius to start leaping to wild conclusionswhich, considering, is lucky for us.

Conspiracy theory No. 1: After 2002’s ”Stolen Summer” flopped, ”Greenlight” producers needed a hit movie. But they picked what seems to be the most problematic directing team — perhaps just to make a good show.

BEN AFFLECK (executive producer): Believe me, we just set up the cameras.

ERICA BEENEY (screenwriter): It’s not really about the show. It’s all about the products. Bobbleheads. Bumper stickers. Sippy cups for children.

No. 2: ”Twin Peaks”’ evil spirit Bob is haunting the ”Battle of Shaker Heights” set. That’s why Laura Palmer’s dad (Ray Wise) is in all the directors’ movies.

MOORE You know, I wouldn’t be surprised if Efram killed Laura Palmer.

No. 3: Affleck happens to appear with J. Lo on the show the weekend ”Gigli” opens. Interesting.

BEENEY Actually, Matt Damon was dressed up as J. Lo. He’s the one who came to the set with Ben. He’s buffed out from ”The Bourne Identity.”

No. 4: Kyle and Efram were so pissed at Moore that they sabotaged the chair he embarrassingly obliterated.

MOORE Well, there’s certainly no conspiracy there!

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