“A shoe is just a shoe,” maverick Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro (played by Matt Damon) declares at one point in the trailer for Amazon Studios’ forthcoming Air.
“…until my son steps into it,” adds Viola Davis’ Deloris Jordan, finishing the thought about her son Michael — the then-basketball rookie around which Nike’s fledgling basketball division decides to build its Air Jordan shoe brand, a longshot business partnership that went on to revolutionize sports and culture. It’s a gamble that’s revisited in-depth here, in Ben Affleck’s latest turn as both a director as well as a star (he also portrays Nike co-founder Phil Knight).
“I believe in your son,” Vaccaro continues in the trailer to Jordan’s parents. “I believe he’s the future.
“And his story is gonna make us want to fly.”
Air, coming to cinemas on April 5 for a global theatrical run next week ahead of its streaming debut on Prime Video, marks the first time Affleck has directed a feature film starring his longtime friend Damon.
In addition to Damon and Affleck portraying Nike executives, the cast of Air also includes Jason Bateman as Nike’s Rob Strasser, Chris Messina as sports agent David Falk, Chris Tucker as Howard White, and Viola Davis and Julius Tennon playing Jordan’s parents Deloris and James.
About the movie, which as of this writing has a 100% critics score on Rotten Tomatoes, Amazon explains in a news release that “this moving story follows the career-defining gamble of an unconventional team with everything on the line, the uncompromising vision of a mother who knows the worth of her son’s immense talent, and the basketball phenom who would become the greatest of all time.”
Air is also significant in that this film from Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports, and Mandalay Pictures is the first project from Affleck and Matt Damon’s production venture Artists Equity.
Also next week, Amazon is teaming up with Jason Markk for a multi-city “Fresh Air” activation, which according to our sister publication Variety will see guerilla street teams flooding cities like LA, NYC, Chicago, and Miami and bring sneakerheads together to celebrate the culture and history of the sneaker community.
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