Ben Affleck and Matt Damon reunite in the Air trailer, a movie about the creation of the Air Jordans at Nike.
Ben Affleck as Phil Knight in AIR Photo: COURTESY OF AMAZON STUDIOS © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

Ben Affleck’s New Movie, Air, Sees the Birth of Air Jordans in First Trailer

Jordans. They are, as that first sentence shows, so culturally relevant that they can be referred to in one word and everyone knows what you’re talking about. It didn’t always use to be that way, though. In fact, Nike as we know it wouldn’t exist if not for Air Jordans. That’s the story behind Air, the new movie directed by and starring Ben Affleck that shows how Nike took a big risk on a rookie player named Michael Jordan and turned a struggling sneaker company into a dominant player in the basketball world. Not to mention how Deloris Jordan, Michael Jordan’s mom, shrewdly understood the worth of her hyper-talented son and helped him turn a shoe agreement into his own empire, as the Air trailer hints.

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The film sounds like it could be a pretty bad ESPN special, but it actually has an incredibly creative team behind it. Ben Affleck reunites with his longtime friend Matt Damon, who stars as Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro, the man who would help create Air Jordans — but not before being doubted all along the way. Interestingly, the Air trailer focuses very little on Jordan himself, instead playing out the plot by focusing on Nike executives, the development team, and Jordan’s parents. Whether or not the film will function like this isn’t clear, but it could be an interesting take to keep the mythic Jordan truly mythical in the film.

The rest of the cast is stacked as well and probably pushing for Oscar nominations. Viola Davis plays Jordan’s mother, Deloris, who played a major role in negotiating the shoe deal that would define the shoe business for generations. The film also stars Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, Matthew Maher, Marlon Wayans, Jay Mohr, Julius Tennon, and Chris Tucker. It is produced by David Ellison, Jesse Sisgold, Jon Weinbach, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Madison Ainley, Jeff Robinov, Peter Guber, and Jason Michael Berman.

While the movie comes from Amazon Studios, Air is getting an exclusive theatrical release on April 5.


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Matthew Razak
Matthew Razak is a News Writer and film aficionado at Escapist. He has been writing for Escapist for nearly five years and has nearly 20 years of experience reviewing and talking about movies, TV shows, and video games for both print and online outlets. He has a degree in Film from Vassar College and a degree in gaming from growing up in the '80s and '90s. He runs the website Flixist.com and has written for The Washington Post, Destructoid, MTV, and more. He will gladly talk your ear off about horror, Marvel, Stallone, James Bond movies, Doctor Who, Zelda, and Star Trek.