Ben Affleck explains why Michael Jordan never appears in Air

Ben Affleck as Nike co-founder Phil Knight in Air
(Image credit: MGM/Warner Bros.)

Ben Affleck's latest directorial effort, Air, tells the story of Michael Jordan's collaboration with Nike and the inception of Air Jordans, one of the brand's most iconic shoes. However, despite being one of the biggest and most successful names in basketball, Jordan doesn't actually ever appear on-screen – and for good reason, Affleck, who also stars in the movie as Nike boss Phil Knight, tells the Inside Total Film podcast

"Admittedly, we made as much a sort of fable as anything else, because it’s really about a character who never appears in the movie, in Michael Jordan. I felt that he’s just too iconic and recognizable and special, where you immediately would know the whole thing was a lie if I tried to tell you somebody else was Michael Jordan," he explains.

"Fundamentally, what I love about it is that it’s actually about the person that I feel guided him, and serves to represent women like her all over the world, particularly in the United States, who are in that position, and how important they are," Affleck continues, referring to Jordan's mother Deloris, played by Viola Davis in the movie.

For more from the full conversation with Affleck – and his co-stars Matt Damon, Chris Tucker, and Marlon Wayans – check out the latest episode of the Inside Total Film podcast, available on:

Air arrives on the big screen on April 5. In the meantime, check out our guide to the rest of the most exciting movie release dates coming our way in 2023. 

Entertainment Writer

I’m an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering everything film and TV-related across the Total Film and SFX sections. I help bring you all the latest news and also the occasional feature too. I’ve previously written for publications like HuffPost and i-D after getting my NCTJ Diploma in Multimedia Journalism.