Ben Affleck didn’t get Nike’s endorsement for ‘Air’, only Michael Jordan did

“This is not the story of Nike,” Affleck said of his new film. – There are interviews and books about it.

Early reviews of Ben Affleck’s ‘Air’ suggest the ‘Argo’ director has another hit on his hands. After years of spending most of his time working on DC films, fans and critics alike are happy to see Affleck refocus on adult films. But while “Air” is based on the true story of Nike executives trying to sign Michael Jordan to an endorsement deal, it’s not exactly an authorized biopic.

comment The Hollywood ReporterAffleck explained that due to the prevalence of books and documentaries about Nike, he did not feel obligated to include the company in his film.

“I didn’t talk to Nike because I didn’t feel the same sense of personal responsibility (I did with Michael Jordan) because it’s not Nike’s story,” Affleck said. – There are interviews and books about it.

Still, Affleck went out of his way to consult with Jordan about the film’s accuracy.

“Jordan is a hero to me,” Affleck said. “And I know what an important and significant figure he is, especially in the African-American community. If you want to talk about Michael Jordan, do so with respect. No one is asking you to do hagiography, but do it properly. I’ve never known anyone with such charisma and power to walk into a room and just resonate. And is he, or is it the way people treat him? Your memories of him? I don’t know, but it’s strong. I said, “Can I come out, please?” And it was great. “Yeah, no problem.” Come to the golf course.”

While Affleck has stressed that his film is not intended to be a definitive Michael Jordan biopic with the NBA legend’s full involvement, he says his conversations with Jordan helped him find the direction for the film.

“I have to be very clear, this is not the authorized Michael Jordan story,” he said. “I said, ‘Mike, I’m not going to make the movie if you’re not good at something. I just won’t do it. I want to know what is important to you. It was very clear. He was the one who told me about (Nike executive) Howard White, who wasn’t in the original script and who is played by Chris Tucker. And I said, “Do you have any anecdotes about your father?” And without going into more detail, he was actually talking about his mother, who wasn’t really in the script. That’s when I understood what the movie was. It was incredibly moving when I talked to her about her mother and realized, “Oh, this isn’t about Nike.”

“Air” hits theaters on Friday, April 5.

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