Ben Affleck plays Nike CEO Phil Knight and Matt Damon plays salesman Sonny Vaccaro in the trailer to Air.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are teaming up once again for Air, the 2023 film about how Nike created their most famous shoe ever, the Air Jordan. Taking a break from superhero films, Ben Affleck is directing and starring in the Amazon Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures dramatic feature about the creation of a shoe, the trailer for which just dropped today (watch it below). The movie is the latest collaboration between Affleck and Damon, who have been friends and co-creators since they were children.
The trailer shows Ben Affleck as Nike co-founder Phil Knight and Matt Damon as Nike executive and shoe salesman Sonny Vaccaro as the pair team up to create the Air Jordan, the shoe that will save Nike’s failing basketball division. The trailer sets the stage—it’s 1984, and Nike is about as uncool as you can get. Sales are down, and it falls upon Sonny to come up with an idea that will save the company. After discovering basketball rookie Michael Jordan, Sonny convinces Phil to risk it all by building a shoe line based solely around this unknown player.
After growing up together in Massachusetts, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck decided to take on Hollywood together. The pair began getting their first film gigs and appeared as extras in 1989’s Field of Dreams together before co-writing and starring in Good Will Hunting in 1997. Since then, the pair have developed their own highly successful acting careers and are now collaborating once more. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are not only starring in Air, but the feature will be the first film produced by their co-owned production company, Artists Equity.
It’s a strong film to start a production company on, as the Nike and Michael Jordan partnership is a highly anticipated and emotional story about a career-defining leap of faith that resulted in Nike becoming the most successful shoe brand of all time. To promote the feature, Amazon slotted the trailer to appear as a Superbowl commercial this weekend, and Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Air will get an unprecedented theatrical release on April 5 before becoming available on Amazon Prime—a move by the streaming platform that could be a game changer for how films are released going forward.
In addition to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, Air also stars Jason Bateman as Rob Strasser, the Nike in-house lawyer who signed Michael Jordan to the brand. Viola Davis plays the ferociously supportive mother of Michael Jordan. The film also features Chris Messina as David Falk, Chris Tucker as Howard White, Matthew Maher as Peter Moore, Gustaf Skarsgård as Horst Dassler, and Julius Tennon as James Jordan, Michael Jordan’s father.
In addition to Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s production company, Artists Equity, Air was also produced by Peter Guber, Jason Michael Berman, Jeff Robinov, and Madison Ainley, as well as David Ellison, Jesse Sisgold, and Jon Weinbach in association with Skydance Sports. Alex Convery wrote the script for the feature, which will be the writer’s feature film debut.
Air will be released to more than 3,000 theaters nationwide.