Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, the Oscar winners behind ‘Good Will Hunting,’ team up for a film about Nike’s efforts to sign Michael Jordan to a sneaker deal, According to the Hollywood Reporter.
Former Nike CEO Sonny Vaccaro appearing on 2015 ESPN 30 for 30 “The Only Man” Nike co-founder Phil Knight will be the central character in the film.
According to reports, Damon will play Vaccaro and Affleck will play Nate. Affleck and Damon won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for “Good Will Hunting,” and the two collaborated and starred in the 2021 film The Last Duel. Affleck, who will direct the film, also won the Oscar for Best Picture as Producer for “Argo.”
The film will focus on Nike’s efforts to sign Jordan in 1984 when Jordan entered the NBA. After dropping out of North Carolina, Jordan was the third overall pick for the 1984 NBA Draft, and Vaccaro was able to do the impossible for what was, at the time, a small shoe company and push away Jordan from Adidas, Reebok and Converse. In doing so, Vaccaro helped transform Nike, the relationship between an athlete and a brand, and the athletic shoe industry as a whole.
“Although I never imagined that I would wear[Nike]shoes, the creativity it gave me, and the education about what it’s all about — what I wear on my feet and how it improves my athletic ability — I’m happy with the choice,” Jordan said in 2004.
Affleck and Damon come to the genesis of it all.
Vaccaro, now 82, helped make the sneaker industry what it is today by signing the likes of Jordan and Kobe Bryant to multi-million dollar shoe deals with Nike. .
“I don’t think people understood how my career developed,” Vaccaro told ESPN of “The Lonely Man” in 2015. “I wanted the public to know how the commercialization of sneakers started. For better or for worse, that’s who I am. I don’t think people have understood how my relationship with coaches developed and how I got involved with Nike. That’s how Jordan happened, that’s how Kobe happened.
“The Lonely Man” was co-directed by Skydance Sports President John Weinbach. Weinbach was also a producer on the Emmy-winning ESPN series “The Last Dance” What he did with the president of Mandalay Pictures, Peter Guber, who will produce the next film. Now they will collaborate again for another part of Jordan’s story.