HBO is reviving Project Greenlight, its turn-of-the-millennium competition series that put amateur filmmakers through all the grueling paces of making a movie, until at last we learned who Shia LaBeouf is. And while LaBeouf obviously won’t return, having recently abandoned making anything, the revived show will feature the return of original executive producers Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, whose participation in the original Project Greenlight took place at a time where the Good Will Hunting breakouts were still considered mavericks of independent film, long before their names were linked to playing Batman and Aquaman.
Of course, other changes have taken place in the years since Project Greenlight wrapped its third and final season on Bravo in 2005—namely that technology has advanced to where making your first film no longer requires jumping through reality show hoops just to impress Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. It’s something Affleck openly acknowledges in the press release, saying, “A whole new generation of filmmakers has grown up sharing everything, and the next big director could be just an upload away,” in the requisite token acknowledgment of the Internet.
As such, the new Project Greenlight will start with a “digital competition,” before proceeding to the tried-and-true steps of casting, shooting, and slumping dejectedly in a canvas chair, frustrated that realizing your dreams requires overcoming so many obstacles and clashing personalities. But once you do, you end up with a movie that’s just an illegal download on a torrent site away, so it’s all worth it.
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