Matt Damon has been one of Hollywood’s biggest stars since the 1990s, when he launched his career with the hit movie Good Will Hunting. Since then he has starred in other major films including The Martian, The Talented Mr Ripley, Saving Private Ryan and the Bourne series.
He also pursued a range of other professional and personal interests during this time, such as gaming. He portrayed a poker player in the movie Rounders, but it wasn’t just about acting for him.
As an avid in-person and online poker player, he has participated in major tournaments like the World Series of Poker. Then there are his charitable relationships with organizations such as Feeding America and the production companies he runs with his good friend Ben Affleck.
Now he has been confirmed to star in a new Nike movie. Read on to find out more.
What is Matt Damon Nike’s new movie about?
In his new film, Matt Damon should play the role of Sonny Vaccaro. This man worked as an executive for sportswear company Nike in the 1980s, after selling sneakers for a living.
The movie Damon signed up for will be about Nike during this time when the company was still growing into the giant name in the industry that it is today. Vaccaro played an important role in helping to boost the prestige and image of Nike during this era and that is what this movie should portray.
He sought to sign basketball star Michael Jordan to a contract with Nike in the mid-1980s, a period when Jordan was one of the emerging stars of American sports. The eventual deal between Jordan and Nike would become a legendary partnership as the two rose to prominence over the following years.
How Modern Sports Marketing Began
According to the first online news reports emerging about this film, it is considered a valuable story to tell as it marked the beginning of a new kind of sports marketing. In the 1980s, the industry had not seen a deal similar to the one struck between Nike and Jordan and he is considered the one that transformed the company.
Before partnering with the basketball star, Nike was just one of many sportswear companies in the United States. He helped make it an iconic brand and it is this process that the film is meant to portray.
Damon won’t be the only high-profile actor involved in the production. He reconnects with his good friend and former co-star Ben Affleck for the project.
Affleck will play the role of Phil Knight, the man who was one of the founders of Nike. The extent of that role in the film is still unclear, but Affleck is taking on directing duties as well.
A difficult deal to close
It’s hard for us to imagine, but in the 1980s, Nike was only considered the third largest online sportswear manufacturer in the United States. With backing from Knight – who started Nike with Bill Bowerman in the 1960s as Blue Ribbon Sports – Vaccaro set out to change all that.
He embarked on a quest to get Michael Jordan to promote the company’s products, but it was a difficult deal to strike. He had to get the support of the athlete’s advisers, coaches, friends and family before Jordan would agree to sign.
The latest media coverage indicates that Michael Jordan himself will not be portrayed on screen, but others like his influential mother will. The interpreter who will assume this role has not yet been announced.
Damon and Affleck reunited again
This is far from the first time that Matt Damon has worked with Ben Affleck. They have teamed up since the beginning of their success in Hollywood.
This rise to the top began in 1997, with the hit film Good Will Hunting, which the two actors wrote and starred together. It won them the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and they went on to star together in Dogma and The Last Duel.
Affleck has achieved other successes as a director and writer besides his acting, but so far he has never directed his friend in a movie. This will mark another point of interest in this new collaboration.
Major blow for Amazon
Matt Damon Nike’s film doesn’t have a final title yet, but it’s being produced by Skydance Sports for the Amazon Studios streaming service. An agreement between them for the production is being finalized.
Landing two heavyweight Hollywood stars is a big move for Amazon in its rivalry with other streaming services like Netflix. The script was written by Alex Convery and was originally titled “Air Jordan” after the famous Nike/Jordan sneaker brand.
Damon and Affleck are currently reworking this script before production on the project begins.
There have been plenty of movies that have touched on sports, but this one is different because it’s about promotions rather than actual sports play. Audiences will likely be intrigued to see Matt Damon working with Ben Affleck on it again.
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