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Ben Affleck's Nike Air Jordan-Origin Story Signs Viola Davis, Jason Bateman & More

ES Staff  |  Drama & Action Movies

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are also starring in the movie, which began filming this summer in Los Angeles. Prime Video will show the movie in over 240 countries and territories.

The untitled sports marketing film will tell how renegade sneaker salesman Sonny Vaccaro (Damon) steered Nike in its pursuit of Michael Jordan, sports' most iconic athlete. Affleck will play Nike co-founder Phil Knight in the story of Nike's 1980s quest to sign Jordan. This endorsement, which appeared unattainable at the time, sparked the multibillion-dollar worldwide shoe craze.

Sonny contacts Jordan's parents, especially his powerful, vivacious mother, as well as prior coaches, advisors, acquaintances, and everyone close to Michael to recruit him to the third-place shoe firm. Sonny tries to reach Jordan through talking to others around him, but Jordan is a mythological character never seen in the movie.

Bateman will portray Rob Strasser, a longtime Nike executive and lawyer-turned-branding-guru, as Vaccaro's boss. Strasser helped Nike sign and market Jordan.

Tucker will play Howard White, a former Maryland basketball player, while Davis will play Michael Jordan's mother Deloris Jordan. White was a Nike basketball executive in the 1980s. He was the company's main contact with NBA stars including Moses Malone, George Gervin, and Artis Gilmore.

Wayans plays George Raveling, the first Black coach in the Pac-10 and ACC. In 1984, he was the head coach at Iowa and an assistant on the gold-medal American men's basketball team. He met Michael Jordan then. Sonny Vaccaro urged Michael to sign with Nike.

Messina is Michael Jordan's first agent. Falk represented James Worthy and Mark Aguirre, Michael's teammates at UNC, before signing Michael. Falk is credited with coining "Air Jordan." Maher will play Nike designer Peter Moore, who created the "Wings" and "Jumpman" emblems and the first Air Jordan sneakers.

Tennon is Jordan's father James, who influenced his decision to join Nike. Papa is Stu Inman, the former Portland Trail Blazers executive who drafted Sam Bowie over Jordan in 1984.

Air Jordan, authored by Alex Convery, was on the 2021 Black List of best unproduced screenplays. Affleck and Damon are producing alongside Peter Guber, Jason Michael Berman, Jeff Robinov, Madison Ainley, and David Ellison. Jon Weinbach, Jesse Sisgold, Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Kevin Halloran, Michael Joe, John Graham, Drew Vinton, and Peter E. Strauss are executive producers.

Emmy winner Bateman (Arrested Development) directed, executive produced, and starred in Netflix's Ozark's fourth and final season. Along with Game Night, John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein directed The Outsider.

Davis' appearances in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, Doubt and How to Get Away with Murder made her a household celebrity. She also stars in TriStar's historical epic The Woman King and Showtime's The First Lady. Recent credits include The Unforgivable, The Suicide Squad, and Troop Zero.

Tucker is a comedian and actor noted for playing Carter in the Rush Hour movies, his breakout Friday roles and making appearances in Billy Lynn's Halftime Walk, Silver Linings Playbook, Jackie Brown and The Fifth Element.

Wayans' acting, writing, producing, and comic credits include In Living Color, Requiem for a Dream, various Scary Movie pictures, The Ladykillers, White Chicks, Little Man, Norbit, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, The Heat, and Marlon. He recently starred in Jeff Wadlow's horror-comedy Boo!.

Messina has been in the movies I Care a Lot, She Dies Tomorrow, Birds of Prey, Argo and Live By Night and is currently appearing in Starz's Watergate series Gaslit. Forthcoming projects include The Boogeyman, Gabriela Cowperthwaite's sci-fi thriller I.S.S, Bill Pohlad's musical drama Dreamin' Wild, and David Rabe's We're Just Married.

Our Flag Means Death and Outer Range on HBO Max include Maher. The Kill Room, Hello Tomorrow!, and Funny Pages are his next projects.

Papa has appeared on Red Oaks, The Jim Gaffigan Show, The Knick, and Inside Amy Schumer. Top Five, Behind the Candelabra, and The Informant are among his films.