Return of HBO's 'Project Greenlight' Will Hopefully Redeem the 11-Year-Old Series
Eleven years after the series originally aired, HBO is bringing back Project Greenlight . The network is reuniting Matt Damon and Ben Affleck to once again serve as executive producers, and hopefully the show will fare better that it did the first time 'round. Perhaps the series is more suited for our technology driven culture, since we've now got a wider pool from which producers can draw.
The original series had two seasons, in 2001 and 2003, and a third season on Bravo in 2005. It chronicled the search for a brand new director and the filmmaking process. The movies, however, didn't fare particularly well; Stolen Summer, the original "greenlit" project, didn't do well; the film received only mediocre reviews, and that's a generous statement. 2003's project The Battle of Shaker Heights also didn't receive critical adulation. So while the idea surrounding the series — take up-and-comers and launch them full-throttle into an enormous career opportunity — has always been a pleasant one, the outcome has been less "greenlight" and more like "green tomatoes" (Rotten Tomatoes' way of indicating that a movie sucks).
Without referencing the greenlit movies' lack of success, Affleck did suggest that the series might have been too early — in fact, as he put it, it was "ahead of its time." He went on to say:
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.
After all, the idea behind the series is a noble one, so perhaps now with access to more talent, and a web-driven culture, the series will work out for the best, or at least redeem itself from its earlier seasons and failed projects. And if not, then at least we can experience the joy of this Damon-Affleck reunion. Now that's something noteworthy. Perhaps we can hope for film about those two? I know a writer who's already written a play about the two of them, except in this play, the two are played by women (cough, cough, Mindy Kaling, cough cough).