Affleck, Damon, Pilgrim, Adaptive resurrect “The Runner”

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are teaming with Pilgrim Media Group and Adaptive Studios on The Runner, a reality competition that will premiere via Verizon's go90 video app this summer.
March 16, 2016

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are teaming with Pilgrim Media Group and Adaptive Studios (Project Greenlight) to executive produce a mobile-first reality competition that will premiere on Verizon’s go90 video app this summer.

Produced by Pilgrim Media Group, Adaptive Studios, and Affleck and Damon’s prodco, Pearl Street Films, The Runner is billed as the first “broadcast-quality competition series” to be produced for a social platform.

In the series, one individual must make it across the United States unnoticed over 30 days while teams dubbed “chasers” will use “all available technology” to locate the person. The contestant and the chaser teams could win one million dollars and go90 users who provide tips or evidence of the Runner’s location are also eligible to win money.

Executive producers are Affleck, Damon, Pilgrim’s Craig Piligian and Mike Nichols, and Adaptive founders Marc Joubert and Perrin Chiles.

The mobile edition of The Runner is the latest iteration for the series, which was originally set to air on ABC in 2000, but was pulled after the events of September 11, 2001. The project then moved into development at Yahoo! in 2006, when former ABC chief Lloyd Braun moved to the web company to head its media group.

“This show is exactly the kind of series Pilgrim is known for,” Piligian said in a statement. “The Runner integrates real high-stakes competition, live elements, a need for speed and the ability to fight and persevere. It’s incredibly exciting to produce something this complex, and we’re thrilled to be in business with Matt and Ben, Adaptive, and our partners at go90 to do it.”

“This is an excellent format for a brand new platform,” added Adaptive’s Joubert. “The Runner is our way of meeting a Millennial audience where they live – on their smartphones and on social media.”

Casting for the upcoming series is underway via www.therunnercasting.com. The project was packaged by WME.

(With files from Barry Walsh)

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.