After more than a decade off the air, Project Greenlight is coming back. HBO just gave a, well, a greenlight to a new edition of the series, with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon back on board as executive producers.
“Project Greenlight was ahead of its time,” Affleck said. “Now that technology has caught up to the concept, we thought it was a perfect time to bring it back. A whole new generation of filmmakers has grown up sharing everything, and the next big director could be just an upload away. It is really great having Project Greenlight back at HBO.”
“Project Greenlight works — careers have been launched and sustained as a direct result of this contest,” Damon added. “Pete Jones, John Gulager, Patrick Melton, and Marcus Dunstan are just a few of the PGL alums who’ve gone on to do great things in Hollywood, and Ben and I are really proud of that.”
Project Greenlight originally ran for two seasons on HBO, in 2002 and 2003 (the photo above is from the show’s original run). The show will once again provide an uncensored look at the challenges facing a first-time director. It will launch with a digital competition to find a director, then follows the winner through pre-production and casting, principal photography, and post-production of a full-length film. The movie will be made from a “Hollywood-vetted script” and the director will be assisted by a team of industry professionals. From the release: “The fledgling director must learn to cope with pressure from the studio and producers, survive on-set politics, and lead a veteran cast and crew, all while trying to deliver a viable movie – on schedule and on budget.”
The news comes on the heels of HBO rival Starz ordering The Chair, which is billed as a Project Greenlight follow-up series, from executive producer Chris Moore. That series follows two directors as they take their first feature film to the big screen with both projects using the same script.