Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have yet to write a follow-up to their Oscar-winning Good Will Hunting, but the duo are staying busy helping aspiring filmmakers with their HBO documentary series, Project Greenlight. Their second season is in the works, with Miramax still on board as a financial backer — though the boys have some complaints about the studio's handling of last season's winning movie, Stolen Summer.
"We were pleased with the final film, but we were not pleased with the way in which it was released," Affleck tells TV Guide Online. "But everybody's a genius in hindsight. At the time, [Miramax] felt that we would wait until after [Greenlight] aired, do Oprah and that would carry it." Stolen Summer grossed an abysmal $134,000 at the box office, proving Miramax's strategy a total failure.
J. Lo's new beau says his HBO show in itself was not enough to market Summer to moviegoers. "What happened was there was no awareness of it," Affleck laments. "The question we most commonly get is, 'When is that movie coming out?'"
Hence, there'll be some changes made. Next time, the winning film's release will tie-in more closely with the Emmy-nominated series. Also, the Greenlight contest — which begins online Sept. 19 — will be split into two separate categories for writers and directors.
It's hoped that the latter change will improve the quality of Greenlight's final result — Summer, which was helmed by last year's winner Pete Jones, got critically bashed. This should also allow the producers to choose the best script available without having to limit the playing field. "[Last time,] we had one of the finalists come up to us and say, 'Look, I have no aspirations to be a director. I want to be a writer,'" notes Damon. "And he had written a terrific screenplay."
Speaking of movie scripts, will Ben and Matt ever get around to writing another one? "We're submitting something [to Project Greenlight] this year," jokes Affleck. Sounds like all you Hollywood hopefuls better get ready to bring it on!