Matt Damon and Ben Affleck still have cinema chemistry as ‘Air’ begins to soar

Matt Damon Ben Affleck
Image via Amazon Studios

The average cost of a pair of Air Jordans is about $200 even though some, depending on what it is, can go in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s the Air craze Matt Damon and Ben Affleck are talking about in their new movie that clearly demonstrates that when they get together, they still have it.

Matt Damon and Ben Affleck were first cast to play baseball fans at Fenway Park in the 1989 hit Field of Dreams. They went on to star together in School Ties in 1992 and of course, everyone remembers when they starred in the 1997 hit Good Will Hunting with Robin Williams, a movie they also co-wrote. They both won Oscars for writing that film and fans have known their names ever since.

They’ve made great movies together, and they’ve made great movies apart. Now, they’re back together to tell the story of how a basketball legend became a shoe icon worth billions of dollars. Damon plays the role of Sonny Vaccaro, the guy who signed Michael Jordan to his shoe deal in the first place. Affleck plays Phil Knight, the co-founder and chairman emeritus of Nike, Inc. They are the big winners in the shoe game and that’s largely in part due to what Michael Jordan brought to the table.

In an interview with CBS News, Ben reflected on his friendship with Matt Damon and the fact that now since they own a production company together, they can spend more time together, “That was one of the things that we kind of wanted to do. The idea of, like, why aren’t we hanging out and spending more time together since we managed to stay friends this whole time?”

Of course, Matt joked, “Plus, we hit our 50s. I mean, you can see the end of the tunnel!”

Air premiered at Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Film & TV Festival Saturday night and blew the lid off the house. Affleck directed the film, which stars Damon, along with Viola Davis as Michael Jordan’s mother and Chris Tucker as Howard White. The ensemble received a standing ovation in Austin as the credits rolled.

Michael Jordan himself made some contributions to the film as Affleck recalls, “A number of things – I’m not sure that I’m at liberty to, like, share every single one. But what I will tell you is he said, ‘Viola Davis is gonna be my mother.'”

To which, Matt Damon added, “Which is kinda like choosing Michael Jordan for your basketball team.”

Affleck and Damon are now co-founders of a production company that gives equity to the cast and crew, “That’s why it’s called Artists Equity. The idea is that we’re pulling a bunch of people above the line who traditionally aren’t. And they stand to do a lot better financially than they’ve ever done on movies before.”

They’ve starred in movies together and they started a production company together. What is it with these two? Matt Damon has the story on that.

Air will hit the theaters on April 5.