Matt Damon Is Reteaming With His Most Famous Co-Star For A New Movie

Matt Damon has just signed on to a new project with his most famous co-star, but this time it'll be a first for the both of them.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

This article is more than 2 years old

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Matt Damon is making a new movie with his fellow Massachusettsan, Ben Affleck. The two have been strongly associated throughout their careers, but this new film will be a first for both. The project will follow the story of how the Nike sportswear company signed mega-popular athlete Michael Jordan to a game-changing endorsement deal in the 1980s. This unprecedently successful partnership massively increased the visibility of both Nike (which lagged behind Adidas and others at the time) and Michael Jordan. It led to Jordan’s simultaneous career as an ad pitchman and arguably paved the way for celebrity athlete endorsements like George Foreman’s famous grill and Dwayne Johnson’s embrace of Under Armor. The film is not yet titled, and Ben Affleck is set to helm. This will be the first time the Academy Award-winning filmmaker will direct Matt Damon, though they have appeared in many movies together. 

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Most famously, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote the script for Good Will Hunting together and won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay (with Affleck becoming the youngest winner of the award ever). They also starred together in the film, which brought the formerly little-known actors to the forefront of popular culture. They had both previously appeared in the 1992 drama School Ties (along with fellow up and comer Brendan Fraser) and the 1995 coming of age story Glory Daze. Post-Good Will Hunting, they both appeared in a number of Kevin Smith films, sharing the most screen time in the supernatural comedy Dogma. They collaborated in 2001 on the HBO documentary series Project Greenlight, which aimed to focus on developing filmmakers; the show has been periodically revived through the years, including a season on the Bravo network. In 2021, they also co-wrote the screenplay (along with filmmaker Nicole Holofcener) for Ridley Scott’s The Last Duel, which Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, and Ben Affleck’s haircut starred in. 

Their new project will star Matt Damon as Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro, who led a dogged pursuit of Michael Jordan that was seen as a pipe dream at the time. Jordan was being heavily pursued by the dominant sportswear company, Adidas, at the time and had not yet become synonymous with endorsement deals. Jordan was eventually signed to deal an enormous (at the time) five-year deal with Nike at $500,000 annually, with stipulations for performance, including a requirement that he win Rookie of the Year. It clearly paid off for everyone involved, as Michael Jordan is currently a billionaire(with the Nike deal being the most lucrative athletic endorsement deal ever over the years) and Nike is the largest manufacturer of sportswear in the world.

In addition to directing, Affleck will star alongside Matt Damon as Nike founder/CEO Phil Knight. Most recently, Affleck starred in the little-loved erotic thriller Dark Waters with Ana de Armas and will be (probably) concluding his tenure as the DCEU’s Batman with the upcoming The Flash. Matt Damon is currently in production for Christopher Nolan’s biopic drama Oppenheimer, in which he will portray Manhattan Project director Leslie Groves Jr. The upcoming Nike-Michael Jordan film does not yet have a release date.