The Oscar-winning duo of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are teaming up again for a sports biopic about Nike and Michael Jordan’s famous sneaker deal. The currently untitled film will be based on Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro’s efforts to sign rising young basketball star Michael Jordan in the early ’80s. Affleck and Damon will write, produce and star in the film, their third collaboration after Goodwill hunting and The last duel.
Ben Affleck will also be the director in addition to playing Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Matt Damon will portray Sonny Vaccaro. The official plot synopsis (via The Hollywood Reporter) reads: “The story will focus on Vaccaro’s relentless quest to sign Jordan into what was then the third shoe company, a journey that took him led to Jordan’s parents, and in particular, his powerful, dynamic mother, as well as to former coaches, advisers and friends. Jordan will be a mythical figure hovering above the film and never seen, even as Vaccaro tries to achieve it by accessing those closest to it and those around it.
It’s currently unclear who will play Michael Jordan, but the synopsis makes it sound like he won’t have much to do in the film. It would certainly be unwise to make a film about one of the most famous sports sponsorship deals in history and not include the recipient athlete. Hopefully Jordan will make an appearance in the film. Maybe a surprise cameo?
Sonny Vaccaro’s story was previously the subject of ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Single man. His campaign to sign Jordan for Nike led to a highly lucrative partnership that turned Nike into a multi-billion dollar business and Jordan into the richest athlete of all time. Surprisingly, Vaccaro didn’t appear in the Netflix docuseries, the last dance.
Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports and Mandalay Pictures are producing the upcoming biopic based on an original screenplay by Alex Convery, which has landed on the blacklist. He also wrote the Stan Lee biopic Excelsior!. Ben Affleck and Matt Damon will rewrite Convery’s screenplay. The film does not have a release window at this time, but more updates are expected to follow soon.
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have already teamed up for Ridley Scott’s The last duel
Ben Affleck and Matt Damon won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for writing the 1997 drama Goodwill hunting. The couple reunited for the historical epic of Ridley Scott The last duel which received critical acclaim last year. One of Scott’s best films of late. The last duel also proved to be its biggest box office bomb, grossing a measly $30.6 million against a budget of $100 million. Scott blamed millennials for the film’s failure.
While The last duel may not have set fire to the box office, it belonged to a genre now almost dead in Hollywood: the historical drama. Ben Affleck recently starred in a movie, deep waters, from another underrepresented film genre, the erotic thriller. Affleck will next reprise his role as Batman alongside Michael Keaton in the flash.
As for Matt Damon, the Jason Bourne star will star in Christopher Nolan’s period thriller, Oppenheimer. He will play General Leslie Groves, who oversaw the construction of the Pentagon and led the Manhattan Project that developed the first atomic bomb. Damon will also make a special appearance in Thor: Love and Thunder.
Michael Jordan once said no to $100 million to show up at an event for 2 hours
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