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AIR Movie: The Story of Nike and Michael Jordan

Director Ben Affleck starring as Nike founder Phil Knight
Warner Bros.

“AIR”; a film about Nike, and Michael Jordan. I see we have your attention. It’s about one man’s gamble as he puts his reputation, and that of the company, on the line in the hopes of signing the superstar college player. The Warner Bros./Amazon Studios film takes us back to that period in 1984, when Nike Marketing Executive Sonny Vaccaro took a chance on Jordan who, at the time, had not yet set foot on an NBA court. It’s a film both basketball fans and sneakerheads around the globe have been eagerly awaiting, but it’s also a film with global appeal.

Award-winning Director Ben Affleck stars as Nike founder Phil Knight. Alongside Affleck is a stellar cast including Matt Damon as Nike Marketing Exec Sonny Vaccaro, Jason Bateman as Director of Marketing Rob Strasser and Matthew Maher as sneaker designer Peter Moore. Chris Tucker also joins the cast as Howard White, who joined Nike in 1978 as a Field Representative and in 1984 played an integral part in bringing Jordan to the Beaverton brand.

Viola Davis and Julius Tennon are perfectly cast as Jordan’s parents. It was a request from Jordan himself that Viola play his mother, and we see them bring their real-life dynamic as husband and wife to the big screen. And, although questions have been raised about the absence of Jordan himself from the film, Affleck had good reason to not saturate the film with his presence. He stated that with MJ being a global icon, it didn’t make sense to bring him into the film, nor did it seem fitting to try to have an actor live up to the unfillable shoes of the man himself.

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