The Ben Affleck-directed Nike film Air from Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports and Mandalay Pictures is set to close out the SXSW Film Festival in a surprise showing ahead of its global April 5th theatrical release, according to multiple sources. The screening is expected to take place at Austin, TX’s Paramount Theatre at 6:30 p.m on March 18.
The film reteaming Affleck on screen with his Good Will Hunting co-star Matt Damon tells the story of how maverick sneaker salesman Sonny Vaccaro (Damon) led a fledgling running shoe company called Nike in its pursuit of the most transformative athlete in the history of sports: Michael Jordan. Affleck portrays 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.
Air‘s ensemble also includes Jason Bateman, Viola Davis, Chris Tucker, Marlon Wayans, Chris Messina, Matthew Maher, Tom Papa, Julius Tennon and more.
Alex Convery penned the script, originally titled Air Jordan, which was named to the 2021 Black List, with Affleck and Damon doing a subsequent pass. The pair also produced alongside Peter Guber, Jason Michael Berman, Jeff Robinov, Madison Ainley and David Ellison, with Jon Weinbach, Jesse Sisgold, Dana Goldberg, and Don Granger, Kevin Halloran, Michael Joe, John Graham, Drew Vinton, Jordan Moldo and Peter E. Strauss exec producing.
Also getting a surprise screening at SXSW 2023 is Lionsgate’s John Wick: Chapter 4, as was revealed just days ago. Other notable titles premiering there include Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, Evil Dead Rise and Tetris, to name a few.
News of Air‘s SXSW debut was first reported by Variety.
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