In Paycheck (opening Thursday), Ben Affleck plays a genius whose bosses erase his memory after he invents a machine that sees into the future. Well, Affleck is no psychic in real life, but he can offer a glimpse of what's to come for his struggling reality series, Project Greenlight.
Greenlight, which gives aspiring writers and directors the chance to make movies, recently was dumped by HBO after two seasons. Like other orphaned TV shows, it's just been adopted by Bravo. The cable channel was "really aggressive in trying to do it," Affleck tells TV Guide Online. "We're really excited. They really get the spirit of it."
Since it's moving to the home of Queer Eye, Affleck, 31, feels obliged to give Greenlight a makeover. "We're going to make some changes to the contest this year," J.Lo's beau reveals. "This year is going to be more of the Hollywood Greenlight. I think what we have shown [in the past] is the true process of making an independent movie. Now, we're going to show what it is like to make a movie in the studio system. It will have different demands and constraints on the filmmakers."
Fans of the show may not mind this new direction, but they'll probably miss the series' villain film producer and Greenlight executive producer Chris Moore. Sounds like Moore finally got tired of yelling. "Chris didn't want to do it this year, so we needed a new bad guy," Affleck says. "So we figured that the movie studio was a good bad guy. The movie studio is the one that is saying you have to have these commercial constraints, you can't play this, or this joke is too smart. [These are] things that you get from studios, who sometimes think that dumbing a movie down is the way to appeal to a mass audience."Affleck has high hopes, despite the fact that Greenlight's first two ventures yielded the box office duds Stolen Summer and The Battle of Shaker Heights. "Who knows?" he asks. "Maybe people will go to the movie this time. For the number of questions I get about Greenlight, [why] didn't you guys buy any g--damned tickets to the movie when it came out? The press loves the show, but they all get to go for free. That's the curse of that show."