December 6, 2023

Director and actor Ben Affleck was in attendance at the South By Southwest festival to premiere Air, his upcoming movie about the revolutionary partnership between Michael Jordan and Nike.

The cast includes Viola Davis, Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker and Affleck’s long-time friend and co-star Matt Damon.

“I’m not usually drawn to this kind of thing, but I thought it was something that could really inspire people, you know, in the way that Michael Jordan is inspiring to the world,” explained Affleck.

Affleck talked about Michael Jordan’s inspiration for the world and said: ” You know, you see excellence, genius like that. There’s something about it that moves us and makes us think maybe I can do something difficult. Maybe I can do that thing I’m afraid of. He’s not in the movie because, for one thing, he’s just too iconic and too famous. The minute you try to show somebody else and say, ‘That’s Michael Jordan’, you kind of lose the whole audience. Because by definition, when you’re that iconic, there’s only one of you in the world.”

Air ‘s screenwriter Alex Convery underlined that many people don’t know how the Air Jordan brand impacted the industry:

“The Jordan shoe deal really changed the economics of the entire industry. (…) To me, it was a really interesting way to tell the story. It’s not necessarily a Nike movie either. It’s an underdog story. It’s about Deloris, Jordan’s mother and how big she was in the process. Hopefully it’s just a fun ride and kind of a little educational along the way as well.”

Air will premiere simultaneously in US theatres and on Prime Video on 5 April. Check out the video above for more interviews and footage of the film.

Video editor • Kerem Congar


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