Matt and Ben Get Into the Sneaker Game
When the world’s operating at full tilt, it’s reassuring to spot something remaining constant—like old pals Matt Damon and Ben Affleck happily working together.
The pair, who were seen strolling around set in sunny Los Angeles yesterday, are on official business filming their as-yet-untitled movie about Nike’s quest to secure a shoe contract with Michael Jordan, which would sire the Air Jordan empire that sparked sneaker culture as we know it. Affleck and Damon, who co-wrote the screenplay (Ben directs), respectively co-star as Nike co-founder Phil Knight and former Nike exec Sonny Vaccaro, a sneaker salesman who set his sights on Jordan in the ’80s. Damon, spotted in character as Vaccaro, clearly has the era’s polo-shirt-and-beeper-clip look down.
The project—their third script collaboration since 1997’s Academy-Award-winning Good Will Hunting and 2021’s The Last Duel—also marks Ben’s first time directing his longtime buddy.
Joining them in the cast, Variety reports, are a slew of big names: Jason Bateman co-stars as Rob Strasser, the longtime Nike executive who oversaw Jordan’s marketing, and Chris Tucker plays junior exec and former University of Maryland basketball player Howard White. On Team MJ are Viola Davis as Michael Jordan’s mother Deloris, Chris Messina as his original agent David Falk, and Marlon Wayans as legendary basketball coach George Raveling, a mutual friend of both Jordan and Vaccaro’s, who helped move the deal into motion.
Michael Jordan himself, per The Hollywood Reporter, functions as a “mythic figure” in the film, and won’t appear on screen.
The actor finally acknowledged their recent string of erratic and problematic behavior in a recent statement. By The Editors…