Skip to main content

HBO brings back movie-making reality show 'Project Greenlight'

HBO brings back movie-making reality show 'Project Greenlight'

Share this story

Was Project Greenlight, the show that attempted to discover the next brilliant film director via the internet, about a decade too early? That's what HBO thinks. The network announced it is bringing the reality show back after nine years with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon as executive producers.

"Project Greenlight was ahead of its time," Affleck said in a statement released to the press. "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."

The show was canceled in 2005 for low ratings

The show was pretty bold for its time. It begins with a real film script contest and then follows the winner through the making of the movie. "We were trying to figure out how to do a script contest online because back in '99 and 2000, we thought that the internet was something that could allow us to maybe discover some new voices or some new projects," Chris Moore, the original producer, told New York magazine last month.

Project Greenlight debuted in 2001 and ran for two seasons on HBO and one on Bravo before being cancelled in 2005 due to low ratings. The season two movie, The Battle of Shaker Heights — a story about applying the lessons of war reenactment to high school — is often credited with launching actor Shia LaBeouf's career.

HBO may be right that Project Greenlight is better suited for 2014, the Kickstarter age, than it was for 2001, the year the dot-com bubble burst. The cost of making movies has also gone down, making the show a less expensive endeavor for the network. The network declined to say when the show will return.