Ben Affleck & Matt Damon Producing Go90 Reality-Competition Series ‘The Runner’
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are going mobile with “The Runner,” a reality-competition series scheduled to debut this summer on Verizon’s Go90.
Affleck and Damon will executive produce the show through their company Pearl Street Films, along with Marc Joubert and Perrin Chiles of Adaptive Studios and Craig Piligian and Mike Nichols of Pilgrim Media Group. The series was packaged by WME.
In “The Runner,” an individual will attempt to make it across the United States unnoticed over the course of 30 days while eight two-person teams of “chasers” try to locate and capture him or her using all available technology. The runner and the chasers will be competing for a million dollar prize. Go90 users who provide tips, sightings and evidence of the runner’s location are also eligible to win money. Casting for the show is currently underway.
“The Runner” has been in the works for 16 years. It was originally sold to ABC in 2000, but was pulled shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It was sold again in 2006 to Yahoo, where it languished in development.
Affleck and Damon were previously teamed with Adaptive Studios as the producers of the filmmaking reality-competition series “Project Greenlight,” which has aired on HBO (2001–03; 2015–present) and Bravo (2005). Early in their career, the longtime friends earned an Oscars for Best Original Screenplay for writing “Good Will Hunting” (1997).
Pilgrim Media Group produces a long list of unscripted cable series including SyFy’s “Ghost Hunters,” Fox Sports 1’s “The Ultimate Fighter” and FYI’s “Kocktails with Khloé,” as well as telefilms such as Lifetime’s “Amanda Knox: Murder On Trial In Italy” and “Abducted: The Carlina White Story.” In October 2015, it launched the digital studio 1620 Media, which as produced such short-form digital series as “Explained in Children’s Drawings,” “The Real Cat Therapist of Beverly Hills” and “Inside the Extras Studio,” starring Barry Bostwick. The following month, the 18-year-old company — which is headed by CEO Piligian (pictured, left) — received a $200 million cash and stock buy-in from Lionsgate.