Go90’s big content push has added a pair of Hollywood heavyweights to its list of creative partners. Verizon’s mobile video platform has picked up The Runner, a reality program whose five executive producers include Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.
The Runner will play out like a cross between The Amazing Race and the classic playground game cops and robbers. One contestant will be selected as the titular runner, and it will be his or her job to cross the United States in 30 days without getting caught by the other participants. The runner will follow clues that will lead him or her to a series of checkpoints; those checkpoints will provide temporary safety, though between them, it will be open season for the hunters.
Affleck and Damon have long sought to bring The Runner to fruition. As Deadline notes, the reality program was initially slated to premiere on ABC in 2001, but the September 11th attacks created logistical programs that ultimately caused the show to be shelved. A planned 2006 revival of the project, which was to be distributed by Yahoo, also failed to reach viewers. In the ten years since that attempt petered out, cellphone technology has improved considerably, and The Runner is now a safe bet to premiere after more than a decade-and-a-half in the works.
The new version of The Runner will be produced by Affleck and Damon alongside their production partners for the HBO series Project Greenlight. “‘The Runner integrates real high-stakes competition, live elements, a need for speed, and the ability to fight and persevere,” said Craig Piligan, another one of the show’s executive producers.
The Runner will be available on a mobile-first service, and it will make use of its home platform by including interactive elements. Viewers will be able to follow along with the show’s clues on their phones, and they can use their own intuitions to help capture the runner.
No release date for The Runner has been announced, but the show is expect to premiere sometime this summer.