The story of one of the most important athlete partnerships of all time is getting the big screen treatment.
On Monday, Amazon Studios announced that its production “AIR” will release globally in theaters on April 5, 2023.
The film, directed by Ben Affleck, will tell the story of how Nike’s fledging basketball division overcame the odds in the 1980s to sign then-rookie Michael Jordan to an endorsement deal — one that would eventually evolve into an extremely lucrative, decades-long partnership and effectively change popular culture.
“AIR” will star Affleck as Nike co-founder Phil Knight, Matt Damon as influential Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro, and Viola Davis as Jordan’s mother, Deloris Jordan.
Jason Bateman, Chris Messina, Chris Tucker, and Marlon Wayans round out the main cast. A casting for Michael Jordan has not been announced.
Per Deadline, the film will mark Amazon’s first theatrical release since the summer of 2019 when it put out “Late Night” starring Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling.
“With Ben’s incredible direction, the film delivers a nostalgic look back at a culture-defining moment that absolutely lends itself to a global theatrical event,” Amazon and MGM Studios head Jennifer Salke said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
“The movie was an extraordinary experience where we had the honor of working with some of the best cast and crew in the business, all of whom brought passion, persistence and creativity to a collective effort at recreating a remarkable and aspirational story,” said Affleck. “This was the best creative and personal experience of our lives and we look forward to many more like it.”
Amazon has been leaning more and more into sports in recent years: The tech giant just wrapped its first season as the exclusive rights holder for “Thursday Night Football” and has emerged as a contender to land rights to the NBA.