Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, Marlon Wayans, Chris Tucker AND Viola Davis? This the cast for Air, the true story of how Nike signed Michael Jordan at the very start of his professional career. Nike created the Air Jordan line, still considered the gold standard of athlete-sponsorship. Affleck directed the film, and he cast himself as Nike CEO Phil Knight. Matt Damon plays Sonny Vaccaro, the salesman who put Jordan with Nike. I think Messina plays Jordan’s sports agent. Here’s the first trailer:
As someone interested in the business of athlete sponsorships, I’ll admit, this appeals to me. I went into this not knowing much about how Michael Jordan and Nike came together, beyond the infamous story of Nike signing him when he was still a rookie. The business decisions being made by Knight and Vaccaro are pretty interesting too. But I appreciate the tone – it feels kind of light-hearted because it is. This is not the most serious subject in the world, it’s a movie about the business of sports apparel, for the love of God. I mean, yes, Nike’s Air Jordan line is the most successful partnership of all time, but still. It’s not life or death.
Anyway, I enjoy all of the ‘80s vibes. Jordan signed with Nike in 1984 and the fashion is Peak ‘80s Business/leisure.
Ben Affleck directs #Air, the true story of Nike's attempt to land Michael Jordan. Affleck stars opposite Matt Damon, Viola Davis and Jason Bateman. Watch the official trailer here: https://t.co/7YtbnsaRzr pic.twitter.com/FeClFtKQFU
— Variety (@Variety) February 9, 2023
Screencaps courtesy of the trailer.
With one exception, Henry V by Kenneth Branagh, I really don’t like it when people direct and act at the same time. I really wish Ben would quit acting and just be a director. He’s a really good director and a mediocre actor. Still, this looks decent. I’ll catch it when it streams.
I definitely find it weird when people act and direct at the same time, but i actually think Ben is one of the few people who does it right.
Yes, I think he’s a really good actor and director. Why not? There are LOADS worse actors than him that can’t even do one job let alone multitask. Btw I keep sticking up for him and why he’s so tired. He’s working on this project, long days editing.
Not gonna lie, I would totally watch this. This is right up Ben’s wheelhouse. And I like when he works with his bestie Matt. The cast is great too.
It’s not about Jordan so, imma pass. I don’t need another white man who rose from the ashes on the back of Black talent to wealth and success. No matter how ‘light’ it will be.
Really, that’s all I could think was ooo a movie about the white people behind a black man, as though there isn’t enough stories about them
Thank you for saying this. I hadn’t thought of it like that, I have a completely different perspective now. I am no longer interested in this movie. I wish there were more people in the room with movie developers pointing this out.
The man is a billionaire, it’s not like he was exploited? Am I missing something? If this film had been made before The Last Dance, I could see your point. But if it’s just not interesting to you, I can see that as well.
I don’t love that Jordan’s not in it but that would probably be a mistake, who could possibly play him. I also don’t love Matt Damon – he looks unwell? I’ll watch anything for Viola Davis and Gustaf Skarsgard alone though.
He was a rookie Emmi, but yeah, keep telling on yourself.
I love how people use „keep telling on yourself“ if they want to let you know you’re just not getting it when really, they don’t know how to respond.
It’s a business movie. I’m guessing it will be sumitro The Social Network. I never had interest in the people behind the creation of Facebook, but the story was fascinating.
This movie looks really interesting. I am so going to watch it. Ben Affleck looks fetching with facial hair.
I thought it was Adam Sandler!
I probably won’t watch it. I seriously cannot stand Matt Damon’s face or presence in any way. But Ben is such a talented director it will probably be good.
Am with you on Matt Damon – never got him, he’s a decent enough actor but I always thought Ben was the better actor and I might watch cause he directed it.
Plus am loving the peak 80s trailer music and fashion.
The trailer is “finally” out? Seems like this movie is out very fast since it was just last summer I saw pictures of them filming at an abandoned office building in LA. That’s pretty fast for a theatrical movie. Now I’d be way more excited to ‘finally’ see a trailer for killers of the flower moon since it’s been years since they filmed that. This is definitely one for streaming. How many will go see a business movie in theaters I wonder.
It looks like an Amazon Prime movie release.
The trailer says only in theaters. I assume later after it tanks it will go to streaming where it belongs.
Based on the title and header image of this post with Ben Affleck in that outfout, I thought this movie would be about mountain climbing some tall peak somewhere or maybe about a snowboarder/skier lol. I didn’t think it would be about the origin story of Air Jordans. Is the story interesting enough to be a movie? I could see a documentary, sure. And while I realize Michael Jordan is one of the legendary basketball players of all time, I’m not a sneakerhead and I don’t care about sports so will probably give this movie a pass.
oh great! a michael jordan movie told from the perspective of white guys and shoe sales. fantastic. i can already see that the focus is all around the white bro club. my, i find this trailer so annoying…
i’d find the story about the air jordan much more interesting if it unfolded from the perspective of michael jordan and his family.
It’s a business story – not a Michael Jordan story.
For Viola, I’ll watch it.
+1 on Viola and also Chris Tucker,it’s been a long time since I saw him in a movie…and I am also curious about Ben directing Matt.
The movie isn’t a biopic about Michael Jordan, he’s very protective about his image, expensive and want to be involved in every aspect and have absolutely control over it, example The last dance.
The trailer looks nice, I’ll watch it!
No, I won’t watch it. Totally sick of Affleck and Damon and all the white bros that are in it (with the one exception of the wonderful Viola Davis). I hope Affleck paid her a fortune because many people wouldn’t watch it except for her. I love her, but I still won’t watch this film because of the many reasons people cited above. I really wish Affleck and Damon would fade away. But white, male actors never gracefully go away, do they? Look at Harrison Ford, making movies and wreaking havoc with his macho plane flying that could easily kill other people since he’s crashed on more than one occasion. But, no, the white man must fly, even though he’s 80 or above. His rights come above all others. Just no to all of them.
Why on earth should they ‘go away?’ Just because you apparently don’t like them isn’t a reason. They’re talented. They’re successful. Some people enjoy them. I typically find movies with one or both of them entertaining. Not always high art, certainly, but entertaining.
Chris Messina is the best Chris. That is all.
He should definitely at least be on the list.
I’m interesting in sports management and the business of sport so I’ll definitely watch this. I mean I’d rather it was more doco than “inspired by” but then the tone and cast would probably be different. This looks fun.
I once worked for a NSO and my boss worked at Nike Intl in the 90s. I’ll be curious to see if I recognise the mindset. He certainly loved his time there.
I wonder what Phil Knight thinks of this. He’s not the most attractive dude, so I imagine being played by Ben Affleck is flattering. I find the way he screwed with our last gubernatorial election repulsive. And how Nike hides out in Beaverton for the tax breaks.
Unincorporated Washington County. He fought a very ugly battle to not get annexed into Beaverton to avoid the tax bill.
This looks really good. I am reading the industry chatter is really positive about this film. People are saying it’s similar to Ford V Ferrari and Moneyball. Those worried about MJ not appearing in it, from my understanding, it’s definitely not a “White Savior” movie. It actually portrays the influence and savviness of MJs mom in encouraging him to take the deal. An actor cameos in the movie as a young, 1984 MJ. You see him from the back in the trailer. The MJ character not having a speaking role keeps him as a mythical figure they chase throughout the film. This fits with the icon status he has in sports and pop culture. It’s pretty brilliant imo. Also, if only the business side made money off the Nike deal, I would have an issue, But MJ and his family will eat well for generations off this deal, so I have no issue at all seeing this film.
I agree with everything you said. This script was on the Black List, which for those of you who don’t know, is incredibly hard to get on. That’s how Ben/Matt & company found it. “Argo” was also on the Black List and won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. Most Screenwriting Oscar winners have been on the Black List. One of my favorites in recent years was “Promising Young Woman.” Fantastic script if you ever get the chance to read it.
Hmm, not digging the aging sports bro vibes. And I’m worried that the vintage style and soundtrack makes it look better than it is. Hopefully the actual story will redeem my first impressions.
I feel like if MJ wanted a biopic about himself done, we would have had it all ready. He has Nike money. Also, MJ is extremely protective of his personal brand and honestly, if he didn’t want this film out there it would have not been made. I can totally see him seeing this as somewhat of a tribute to his mother. And, it’s funny, because MJ is just as bro-y as they come. He is extremely wealthy and privileged, spent years being a womanizer which ended his first marriage, and he REALLY likes to gamble. He’s a card carrying member of the bro-club. LOL
I will pass.
Is the sequel to The Accountant still on the table? That I would definitely watch!!!