Ben Affleck And Matt Damon Will Reunite For Michael Jordan Movie - Men's Health Magazine Australia

Ben Affleck And Matt Damon Will Reunite For Michael Jordan Movie

The movie will explore the momentous occasion of Nike signing the NBA star.

The Oscars has gifted us many an Internet-breaking moment, hilarious monologue or moving speech, but when it comes to some of its most iconic moments, few can surpass that of a young, fresh-faced Matt Damon and Ben Affleck taking to the stage for winning Best Original Screenplay for 1997’s Good Will Hunting. In what appear to be rental tuxedos, the pair are human flesh-casings of unbridled enthusiasm, overjoyed with the success of their film as they try desperately to remember names and thank those in the audience. Where so much of Hollywood seems premised on the idea of appearing cool, this display of pure joy was almost too much and cemented Affleck and Damon not only as two up-and-coming actors and writers, but the kind of mates we could see ourselves in, too. 

Recently, the pair joined forces once again for Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel. It had been some time since they’d brought their creative forces together, but clearly the result makes for an incredible film and now, the pair will once again work together for a movie depicting the early days of Nike and the incredible moment that was their signing of Michael Jordan. 

It seems like Jordan’s legacy as one of the greatest to play the sport is the gift that keeps on giving. we’ve already been treated to Space Jam and, more recently, The Last Dance, which provided a behind-the-scenes look into the Chicago Bulls’ 97-98 season as they sought their sixth NBA title in just eight seasons. The latter proved an instant success on streaming platforms, showcasing not only Jordan’s incredible talent, but his leadership on the court and the team antics that went on away from the spotlight and camera lens. 

But when it comes to Nike and their long-standing relationship with Jordan, little has been put to the screen. The partnership is perhaps one of the most lucrative in sporting history, catapulting the company into global stardom and seeing the expression “be like Mike” uttered from the lips of every kid who watched the commercials and dreamed of being able to dunk like Jordan. Of course, Jordan also profited from the deal, which has continued to see his wealth expand to the billionaire status it is today. 

According to reports from Deadline, “The as-yet untitled sports marketing film will tell the incredible story of how Sonny Vaccaro (portrayed by Damon) – a maverick sneaker salesman – led a fledgling running shoe company called Nike in its pursuit of the most transformative athlete in the history of sports: Michael Jordan.”

The publication adds, “Ben Affleck will portray Nike co-founder Phil Knight in the story surrounding Nike’s longshot effort to sign Jordan to its shoe company in the mid-80s, an endorsement that seemed impossible at the time but would become the most significant relationship between an athletic brand and an athlete and launched the global, multi-billion dollar contemporary sneaker industry.”

As Matt Grobar of Deadline suggests, “Sonny’s relentless quest to sign Jordan to what was then the third-place shoe company takes him to Jordan’s parents, and in particularly his powerful, dynamic mother, as well as to former coaches, advisors, friends, and those close to Michael. Jordan himself is a giant mythic figure hovering above the movie and never seen, while Sonny tries to reach him by gaining access to those close to him and around him.”

Alex Covery originally penned the screenplay which was then titled Air Jordan, and named one of the best unproduced screenplays in the 2021 Black List. After the project was brought to Skydance Sports President Jon Weinbach, Vaccarro’s life rights were secured and Amazon Studio was tapped for production. As well as starring in the movie, Affleck and Damon will also serve as co-writers on the screenplay, with Affleck taking on the role of director, too. 

It might not be the first time Affleck has worked as a director, but it is his first time directing lifelong pal, Matt Damon. And given their history together and the work they’ve added to their resume, we’re looking forward to the end result. 

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