Why isn’t Michael Jordan in the Air movie?

With Air Slam dunking into theaters, audiences might be surprised to see that basketball legend Michael Jordan barely features in the film, even though the entire story revolves around Nike’s efforts to bring the world-famous athlete on board for one of the most iconic commercials of all time. According to director Ben Affleck, who also plays Nike founder and CEO Phil Knight in the film, the plan was always not to include Jordan.

Air is not the story of Michael Jordan, but there is no story without him,” Affleck said colliders.

The film instead focuses on Nike’s dealings with Jordan’s mother, Deloris, who the basketball star specifically wanted Viola Davis to play. Affleck also recognized from the start that including too much Jordan would detract from the story Air wanted to say:

“The fact that he wasn’t there is definitely planned from day one because I just think he’s too big and meaningful and famous and great to ever let the audience believe anyone else was him, especially.” considering an actor wouldn’t have the whole movie trying to flesh it out. I’ve seen it.”

Affleck then cited one of Denzel Washington’s most iconic performances as the gold standard for these situations, and there’s just no matching effect.

“Denzel did it Malcom X‘ Affleck said. “You know that thing where at the end of the movie you’re surprised that the real Malcolm X that we see in the clips doesn’t look like Denzel, but that opportunity wasn’t available and I thought it would undermine the movie. ”

Air is in cinemas now.

(via Collider)

Jaclyn Diaz

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