Ben Affleck’s Drama About Sneakers Is Almost Here
Ben Affleck's Nike drama Air will be released in theaters globally on April 5.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Nike sports marketing film Air will be released in theaters globally on April 5, just a few months away. Per Variety, the movie will get a wide release before going to streaming on Amazon Prime Video, the first film to do so since Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson’s talk show comedy Late Night. Air will also be the first movie from longtime collaborators and co-Oscar winners Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s new production company Artist Equity, also working with Mandalay Pictures, MGM, Skydance Sports, Studio 8, and Amazon Studios.
Ben Affleck will direct Air, which chronicles the efforts of Nike shoe salesman Sonny Vaccaro (Matt Damon) to sign a branded sneaker deal with basketball legend Michael Jordan, despite the now globally dominant sportswear company being small potatoes as the time compared to competitors like Adidas and Puma. Ben Affleck will also play Nike co-founder and chairman emeritus Phil Knight, who oddly also owns the critically acclaimed animation studio Laika, which has produced films like Henry Selick’s Neil Gaiman adaptation Coraline and the upcoming fantasy adventure film Wildwood, which will star an impressive voice cast including Mahershala Ali, Awkwafina, Angela Bassett, Jake Johnson, Charlie Day, Jemaine Clement, Maya Erskine, Tom Waits, and Richard E. Grant.
Air will be Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s first project together since 2021’s The Last Duel, directed by Ridley Scott and co-starring Adam Driver and Jodie Comer. In the film, Adam Driver’s Jacques Le Gris is accused of raping Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), the wife of his former comrade-in-arms Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon), all of whom are under the rule of Count Pierre d’Alençon (Ben Affleck). The medieval legal drama was critically acclaimed for its ambiguous take on an actual historical event and multiple POVs, but bombed at the box office.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have been associated with each other in the public mind long before the Nike drama or The Last Duel. The two co-wrote the Academy Award-winning Gus Van Sant film Good Will Hunting, which launched the career of both actors as leading men and creative forces behind their films. Since then, they have starred in multiple movies together and produced (and were featured in) the HBO/Bravo series Project Greenlight, which essentially acted as a reality competition show for aspiring filmmakers.
Since then, Ben Affleck has become one of Hollywood’s most acclaimed directors, winning another Academy Award for the drama Argo, as well as one of its most consistently bankable actors, starring in everything from massive superhero movies like Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice to erotic dramas with former girlfriend Ana de Armas. Air will see Ben Affleck delving into a famous incident in corporate history, when the tireless efforts of a Nike employee to lock down a future SpaceJam star ended up being one of the most profitable partnerships in sports. While the movie will likely focus more on Matt Damon’s character, it will be good just to see them on screen together.