The Last Dance took the world by storm as fans (and detractors) got to see Michael Jordan’s journey with the Chicago Bulls in a different light. With all this renewed interest in the basketball legend, it was only a matter of time before another project as likely to pop up. This time, Hollywood besties Ben Affleck and Matt Damon will bring another take on the former basketball player to the big screen.
THR reported that the upcoming film will be a biopic based on the story of former Nike executive Sonny Vaccaro with a story connected to His Airness. In the flick, Damon will star as the former marketing executive while Affleck playing the supporting role of Nike co-founder Phil Knight. This will be the first film for the friends since reuniting in last year’s The Last Duel.
The film will follow the story of Vaccaro as he goes on a mission to recruit the then-rising NBA superstar to be the face of the renowned sports brand during the mid-1980s. At the time, the shoe company was in third place. It will see him pursuing the basketball upstart’s inner circle, including former coaches, advisors, friends, and Michael Jordan’s strong-willed mother Deloris Jordan. Intriguingly, though the project is about a sneaker deal with Jordan, in it the NBA legend will never be seen as the flick focuses on the marketing executive accessing those around him.
Not only will the two a-listers co-star in the film but will write and produce it together. The Hollywood BFFs are currently reworking the original spec script penned by screenwriter Alex Convery. It marks the first time the duo has worked hand-in-hand since their Oscar-winning coming-of-age story Good Will Hunting. The project will mark another first for The Last Duel co-stars as Affleck will serve as director, which is the first time he's directed Damon for the big screen.
Along with the Good Will Hunting co-stars being involved, Mandalay Pictures’ Peter Guber and Jason Michael Berman will serve as producers on the sports biopic. The film will be a co-production between Mandalay and the newly formed Skydance Sports. The latter and Amazon Studios are currently finalizing the production deal.
A Last Dance personality was actually involved in securing the rights to the marketing genius’ story, as Skydance Sports president Jon Weinbach and Guber served as producers on the Emmy-winning docuseries. The ties to Sonny Vaccaro run even deeper, as Weinbach co-directed the 2015 ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Sole Man focusing about the former Nike executive’s life story. So, it appears the marketing biopic is in the right hands.
The Sonny Vaccaro biopic speaks to the popularity and impact of the Michael Jordan documentary. Its impact has helped revitalize the careers of 1990s staples like R&B singer Kenny Lattimore and model and actress Carmen Electra, who is looking into a reality TV career. But not everything has been rosy for Jordan as NBA vets like Scottie Pippen and Charles Barkley have commented on their portrayal in the docuseries. That doesn’t mean His Airness has been silent on the issue after allegedly expressing his feelings over their opinions.
A production start or release date hasn’t been announced for the untitled sports biopic from Matt Damon and Ben Affleck. In the meantime, you can relive all of the shocking interviews and moments by subscribing to Hulu or Netflix to stream The Last Dance.
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