Despite his legendary career, there aren’t as many movies about Basketball Hall of Famer and consensus greatest-of-all-time Michael Jordan as you’d expect. And that’s likely because getting the blessing from MJ is no small feat.
Ben Affleck, however, was able to get Jordan’s blessing, as his new film Air tells the tale of Nike’s efforts to sign the legendary shooting guard to a sneaker deal before he entered the NBA.
At the film’s premiere at South By Southwest over the weekend, Affleck — who also stars in the film as Nike founder Phil Knight — revealed the lone request that MJ had of him when it came to making Air: cast Academy Award winner Viola Davis as his mother Deloris Jordan.
“[Michael Jordan] 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,” Affleck said during film’s premiere at South by Southwes Festival in Austin on Saturday.
“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,” Affleck said.
So far, Air is earning rave reviews following its world premiere at South By Southwest, as the film currently has a perfect 100% critic’s score (based on eight reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes.
Air — which also stars Matt Damon, Jason Bateman, Chris Tucker, and Marlon Wayans alongside Affleck and Davis — will hit theaters in the United States on Thursday, April 6 before releasing on Prime Video later this year.
The 50-year-old Affleck isn’t only working as a director this year, as he’s also set to star in the Robert Rodriguez-directed thriller Hypnotic and as Bruce Wayne/Batman in The Flash.
RELATED: Ben Affleck’s New Nike Movie ‘Air’ Is Getting Rave Reviews, Compared To ‘Jerry Maguire’