Ben Affleck opens up about Michael Jordan's demands before directing Air
Air will be set against the backdrop of the sportswear industry and how the iconic Air Jordan became a prominent name in basketball history
Ben Affleck, the director of the upcoming film Air opened up about the demands Michael Jordan had before he directed the film. Air will be set against the backdrop of the sportswear industry and how the iconic Air Jordan became a prominent name in basketball history. The film will throw light on the story of marketing genius Sonny Vaccaro, who played a major role in Nike and Mike’s collaboration. Sonny was also the brain behind Jordon signing his first sneakers deal, which went on to become the most successful marketing partnership in history.
Matt Damon is starring as Sonny Vaccaro in the film, who goes on to convince Jordan (Damian Young) to sign the deal that permitted the creation of Air Jordan, the shoe line. Ben Affleck is also starring in the film as Nike co-founder Phil Knight.
Speaking about taking the "blessings" of Michael Jordan before directing Air, Ben Affleck said, “I had a chance to sit down with Michael Jordan because I just wasn’t going to make this movie without asking him, ‘What matters to you?’ Interestingly, and tellingly, he had a few things that mattered.”
About the vice president of the Jordan brand, Affleck remarked, "One of them was that Howard White ought to be in the movie. When Affleck learned about White, he realised he had the chance to cast Chris Tucker, who he had long wanted to collaborate with.
“I got the script and then had the chance again to talk to Michael. Michael Jordan, for those of you who don’t know, is one of the most intimidating, impressive men you’ll ever see in your life,” Affleck said. “He told me about is father. And then he talked about his mother. It was the first time I saw this look cross his face. It was a look of reverence, of awe, of love, and gratitude, and innocence. He said, ‘None of this would have ever happened without my mother.’ I said, ‘Who would you like to play your mom?’ He said, ‘Well, it has to be Viola Davis.”
The cast of Air includes Viola Davis as Michael’s mother Deloris Jordan. Others part of the cast are Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, Matthew Maher, Marlon Wayans, Jay Mohr, Julius Tennon, and Chris Tucker.
Air has a script by Alex Convery and is backed by Affleck, Damon, Peter Guber, Jason Michael Berman, David Ellison, Jeff Robinov, and Madison Ainley.