Ben Affleck’s ‘Air’ with Matt Damon and Viola Davis gets high-flying first trailer [Watch]

Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are back together again for Affleck’s latest directorial effort “Air.” The film, which Amazon will release in theaters nationwide starting in April before it bows on the streaming service later this year, received its thrilling first trailer on Thursday ahead of the 2023 Super Bowl.

Based on a script by Alex Convery and inspired by actual events, “Air” is about the early stages of Nike’s relationship with basketball legend Michael Jordan. Here’s the official synopsis from Amazon: “‘Air’ reveals the unbelievable game-changing partnership between a then-rookie Michael Jordan and Nike’s fledgling basketball division which revolutionized the world of sports and contemporary culture with the Air Jordan brand. 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.”

Affleck plays Nike co-founder Phil Knight while Damon is Sonny Vaccaro, the executive who signed Jordan to a contract with the shoe manufacturer as he entered the NBA. Viola Davis stars as Jordan’s mother, Deloris Jordan.

“Air” is notable because it is a major theatrical play for Amazon, which has previously focused most of its attention on streaming its original movies. “Ben, Matt, and this all-star cast have delivered a fantastic film that will move, inspire, and entertain audiences around the globe,” said Jennifer Salke, Head of Amazon and MGM Studios, said earlier this year. “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.”

Added Affleck in his own statement about the release plans, “Matt and I are very excited for audiences to see ‘Air’ and proud that it’s the first release from Artists Equity [the pair’s new production company]. 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.”

As noted in a press release, “Air” is the first time Affleck has directed Damon in a film. The pair, of course, won Oscars for writing “Good Will Hunting” and have appeared opposite each other in some Kevin Smith films, including “Chasing Amy,” “Dogma,” and “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.” They made their long-awaited onscreen reunion in 2021 with Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel,” a film they co-wrote together with Nicole Holofcener. It was the first time Affleck and Damon were credited together on a screenplay since “Good Will Hunting.”

“Air” is out in theaters on April 5. Its streaming debut on Amazon has not been announced.

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