9:41am PT by Philiana Ng
HBO Reviving 'Project Greenlight' With Ben Affleck, Matt Damon
HBO is going back to its roots.
The premium cable network is bringing back Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's Project Greenlight after more than a decade.
Project Greenlight originally aired from 2001 to 2003 on HBO (it moved to Bravo in 2005) and chronicled the search for a first-time director, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the filmmaking process. HBO plans to bring the series back for another season, though specifics on a return date were not provided.
Affleck and Damon will return as executive producers on the new season, as well as Adaptive Studios' Marc Joubert, T.J. Barrack, Perrin Chiles and Marshall Lewy and Miramax's Zanne Devine. Adaptive Studios, Affleck and Damon's Pearl Street Films and Miramax will produce.
“Project Greenlight was ahead of its time,” said Affleck. “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. 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," added Damon.
Project Greenlight offered a revealing look at the challenges that often face a first-time director. The series, which ran for two seasons on HBO, begins with a digital competition, following the winner from preproduction and casting through principal photography and postproduction. With a vetted script and surrounded by industry professionals, the aspiring director deals with studio and producer wants, on-set politics and leading a cast and crew, while attempting to deliver a movie on schedule and on budget.
Jones' Stolen Summer script was the first winner in season one and the film went on to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival. The second-season winner, The Battle of Shaker Heights -- written by Erica Beeney and directed by Efram Potelle and Kyle Rankin -- starred Shia LaBeouf and Amy Smart. Feast, meanwhile, was the season-three winner and starred Balthazar Getty.
Affleck and Damon have a CBS comedy pilot in contention, More Time With Family, starring Tom Papa and Alyson Hannigan.