Matt Damon & Ben Affleck Launching Production Company
On Monday, Ben Affleck began work as director of Matt Damon's Sonny Vaccaro biopic, in which the actor plays the maverick sneaker salesman who is obsessed with persuading basketball legend Michael Jordan to wear Nikes. Affleck and Damon are already making headway in their own ground-breaking project.
They are in talks with RedBird Capital's Gerry Cardinale about launching a new monied production firm. Studio 8 CEO Jeff Robinov is rumored to be eyeing a prominent role, according to Deadline. Affleck (Argo) and Damon (Ocean's Eleven franchise) have a lengthy history of working with Robinov, who was the head of Warner Bros. The goal is to produce a lot of high-quality content.
It's unclear if Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports, and Mandalay Pictures are working on the untitled Nike film, but sources say that the new business will certainly have a part in producing it as well. Adapted by Good Will Hunting writers from Alex Convery's 2021 Black List script, "Air Jordan," Damon and Affleck chose to ignore the storyline in which Nike co-founder Phil Knight (played by Affleck) sent Vaccaro on a mission to sign Michael Jordan, which turned out to be the most significant athlete-product tie-in ever. In doing so, it made Nike and Jordan multibillion-dollar corporations.
It may take a while for the production company to come together, but it's one of the more promising-sounding entrepreneurial endeavors to come up in a while. For Good Will Hunting (1997), Damon and Affleck won Oscars, and Affleck have also directed the Best Picture winner, Argo (2012). The Last Duel (2021)was their most recent project together, directed by Ridley Scott.
More than $6 billion in assets are under the management of Cardinale's RedBird Capital, which is involved in a wide range of business ventures, including sports, media, and entertainment. It's no secret that Cardinale is a deal architect and business builder; the firm has invested in some of the world's most iconic entrepreneurs in the world of sport (Fenway Sports Group (Boston Red Sox, Liverpool FC, Pittsburgh Penguins and New England Sports Network), Skydance Media (Larry Ellison), the Springhill Company (LeBron James, Maverick Carter), and the XFL (Dwayne Johnson and his partn)