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#pounditSaturday, July 20, 2024

Michael Jordan had 1 big request for movie ‘Air’

Michael Jordan in a suit

February 20, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; NBA great Michael Jordan is honored for being selected to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team during halftime in the 2022 NBA All-Star Game at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Ben Affleck is preparing for the nationwide release of his upcoming film “Air,” and the actor/director says he had one big request from Michael Jordan when he approached Jordan with the idea for the movie.

During the premiere of “Air” at the South by Southwest Film & TV Festival in Austin, Texas, on Saturday, Affleck revealed that Jordan insisted actress Viola Davis play the role of M.J.’s mother. Affleck says he wanted Davis to star in the film just as badly as 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, via Haley Chi-Sing of FOX News. “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 it was always a goal of his to have Davis star in one of his films if he became a director, so he was thrilled Jordan made the request and Davis agreed.

Jordan also requested Howard White, who is vice president of the Jordan brand, be part of the story in the film. Affleck said that gave him an opportunity to finally work with Chris Tucker, who plays White in “Air.”

We know that Jordan has been very particular in the past about who he allows to tell his story, which is one of the reasons there is so much anticipation surrounding “Air.” The film has an all-star cast that includes Davis, Affleck, Tucker, Matt Damon, Jason Bateman and Marlon Wayans. It hits theaters on April 5.

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