Ben Affleck’s Air got the stamp of approval from Michael Jordan (yes, the Michael Jordan), and rightfully so. After all, the film is about the basketball legend inking his deal with Nike and the creation of his first shoe, the Air Jordan 1.
During the film’s screening at South by Southwest (SXSW) this weekend (it received a standing ovation), Affleck revealed that Jordan had a couple of demands for Air ahead of production.
One, the film must include Howard White, the Jordan Brand’s vice president who will be played by Chris Tucker. Well, that’s a check off the list.
The second ask? Viola Davis had to play his mom. I can’t get mad at that. Who else to play the person who brought you into this world than the actress who just reached EGOT status?
“He told me about his father. And then he talked about his mother. It was the first time I saw this look cross his face. It was a look of reverence, of awe, of love, and gratitude, and innocence,” Affleck stated during the SXSW conference.
“He said, ‘None of this would have ever happened without my mother.’ I said, ‘Who would you like to play your mom?’ He said, ‘Well, it has to be Viola Davis.”
Surprised by Jordan’s ask, Affleck continued, “That’s like saying, ‘Can I play basketball on your court?’ ‘Yeah, if you get Michael Jordan.’ Viola Davis is the best actor I’ve ever seen.”
Nonetheless, Jordan’s wish came true as Miss Davis will indeed play the role of his mom, Deloris Jordan.
Air‘s cast is pretty stacked, to say the least. In addition to Tucker and Davis, Matt Damon, Marlon Wayans, and Jason Bateman also star in the forthcoming film.
The official trailer for Air finally arrived in February after several months of whispers surrounding the then-nameless film and Affleck quietly promoting his movie with a surprising Nike rotation.
Jordan fans, sports heads, and pretty much anyone curious to see the film can catch Air in theaters on April 5.
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