Do you like apples? Me too, sort of; sometimes I get tired of them about halfway through. Anyway, today brings news that two up-and-comers by the name of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are going to executive-produce an espionage thriller for SyFy called Incorporated.
Matt and Ben (they have asked me to always call them by their first names) are lifelong best friends who work hard, play hard, and hug hard, sort of half-clasping hands and bumping chests, then patting each other roughly on the back. They co-wrote an Oscar-winning screenplay, Good Will Hunting; starred in several movies together, including Jersey Girl, in which Damon had an unforgettable turn as PR Exec #2; headed up Project Greenlight, a TV series through which they sought out the “next best director”; and most recently, started their own production company, Pearl Street Films, grinning good-naturedly at each other as they signed the paperwork.
Pearl Street already has a few projects under its belt, including Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land and a rejected TV pilot that centered on “a husband and father making a career change to spend more time with his family” called, for real, More Time With Family. After the pilot wasn’t picked up, Matt and Ben shared a few beers and laughed about the finicky entertainment biz, about how nobody else in Hollywood truly understood them, and about how much they wanted to move back to Boston and open a BYOB batting cage. Soon they realized it was getting late; they should probably go home and spend more time with their families.
Currently, Pearl Street has at least 11 projects on its docket, including a Whitey Bulger biopic; a revival of Project Greenlight; another crime drama called Middle Man, to be directed by Affleck; and The Trade, about two Yankees pitchers who swapped wives in the 1970s—something Ben and Matt hope to do one day. They raise the topic regularly with Jennifer and Luciana on rare nights away from the kids, then pretend they were just kidding, then go home to their separate, stark mansions and stare at the same moon.
As for their latest collaboration, the scripted cable series Incorporated, The Hollywood Reporter describes it as follows: “The futuristic espionage thriller is set in a future where companies have unlimited power and tells the story of executive Ben Larson, who is forced to change his identity in order to infiltrate a cut-throat corporate world to save the woman he loves. In the process, he’ll take on the entire system—with deadly consequences.” So it’s basically the Bourne movies meets all the other Affleck/Damon movies that have deadly consequences.
David and Alex Pastor will write and direct the pilot, while Ted Humphrey (The Good Wife) will serve as showrunner and executive producer. The fact that David and Alex are actual brothers stings a bit for Matt and Ben, if they’re being honest.