Directed by Oscar winner Affleck, “Air” captures the unbelievable game-changing partnership between a then-rookie Michael Jordan and Nike’s fledgling basketball division that revolutionized the world of sports and contemporary culture with the Air Jordan brand, per an official synopsis. 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 the first project from Affleck and longtime collaborator Matt Damon’s Artists Equity production banner. The film will have a wide global theatrical release April 5, 2023, in advance of its premiere in more than 240 countries and territories worldwide on Prime Video. The theatrical deal is the first kind of arrangement for Amazon Studios, with Amazon distributing the film globally with Warner Bros. Pictures handling international as part of its distribution pact with Amazon’s MGM.
“Air” is produced by Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports, Artists Equity, and Mandalay Pictures.
“Ben, Matt, and this all-star cast have delivered a fantastic film that will move, inspire, and entertain audiences around the globe,” Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon and MGM Studios, said. “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.”
Director Affleck added, “Matt and I are very excited for audiences to see ‘Air’ and proud that it’s the first release from Artists Equity. 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. I appreciate and value Jen Salke’s faith in our ability to execute on and deliver a movie we are proud of, as well as her and Sue Kroll’s incredible ongoing support of the film. Amazon Studios, Skydance, and Mandalay were all critical to getting this done, and the film couldn’t have been made without them. We value the steps it took on each of their parts to make it happen and want to thank them. This was the best creative and personal experience of our lives and we look forward to many more like it.”
Damon stars in “Air” as maverick Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro, and Affleck plays Nike co-founder Phil Knight. Jason Bateman is Rob Strasser, with Chris Messina as David Falk, Matthew Maher as Peter Moore, Marlon Wayans as George Raveling, Chris Tucker as Howard White, Viola Davis as Deloris Jordan, Gustaf Skarsgård as Horst Dassler, and Julius Tennon as James Jordan, in addition to the ensemble cast. This is the first time Affleck directs a feature film starring Damon.
Alex Convery wrote the script. “Air” is produced by Affleck, Damon, David Ellison, Jesse Sisgold, Jon Weinbach, Madison Ainley, Jeff Robinov, Peter Guber, and Jason Michael Berman. Executive producers include Dana Goldberg, Don Granger, Kevin Halloran, Michael Joe, Drew Vinton, John Graham, Peter E. Strauss, and Jordan Moldo.
Amazon Studios purchased MGM in March 2022 for $8.5 billion. The buyout included a push for more theatrical releases with potentially a longer window before being available on the streamer. However, “Air” does not yet have a Prime Video streaming date following its April 5 theatrical release.
“Air” marks Affleck’s return to directing following 2016’s “Live By Night.” The star was Oscar-nominated for “Argo” and made his feature directorial debut with “Gone Baby Gone” before helming “The Town.” He previously starred in George Clooney’s “The Tender Bar,” which was released on Amazon Prime Video.