Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are reteaming for a Nike drama that Affleck will direct for Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports and the duo’s banner Mandalay Pictures, Deadline can confirm.
The as-yet-untitled sports marketing film will tell the incredible story of how Sonny Vaccaro (Damon), a maverick sneaker salesman, led a fledgling running shoe company called Nike in its pursuit of the most transformative athlete in the history of sports: Michael Jordan. Affleck will portray Nike co-founder Phil Knight in the story surrounding Nike’s longshot effort to sign Jordan to its shoe company in the mid-’80s, an endorsement that seemed impossible at the time but which would become the most significant relationship between an athletic brand and an athlete and launched the global, multibillion-dollar contemporary sneaker industry.
Sonny’s relentless quest to sign Jordan to what was then the third-place shoe company takes him to Jordan’s parents, and in particular his powerful, dynamic mother, as well as to former coaches, advisors, friends and those close to Michael. Jordan himself is a giant mythic figure hovering above the movie and never seen, while Sonny tries to reach him by gaining access to those close to him and around him.
Alex Convery wrote the original script, titled air jordan, which was named to the 2021 Black List of the best unproduced screenplays. Mandalay brought it to Skydance Sports president Jon Weinbach, who then secured Vaccarro’s life rights. Affleck and Damon are doing a new pass on the script and will produce.
While Affleck has never before directed Damon, the pair famously co-wrote and starred together in Gus Van Sant’s 1997 film Good Will Hunting, which won them an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay. They also recently reteamed for Ridley Scott’s film The Last Duelstarring there alongside Adam Driver, Jodie Comer and more.
Affleck previously directed films including Gone Baby Gone, The TownBest Picture Oscar winner Argo and Live by Night. He recently starred opposite Ana de Armas in the erotic thriller Deep Water and will next be seen in The Flash and Robert Rodriguez’s thriller Hypnotic. Other upcoming films featuring Damon include Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder and Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer.
Regularly featuring on the Black List, Convery has been behind such screenplays as Bag Mag, Excelsior! and Wild Things.
Affleck and Damon are represented by WME and Ziffren Brittenham; Convery is repped by UTA and Grandview.