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Academy-Award winning actress Viola Davis, Chris Tucker and Marlon Wayans are set to join Julius Tennon and the cast of Prime Video’s film revolving around Nike. The movie is set to follow the sports marketing executive who relentlessly pursued basketball icon Michael Jordan in the mid-’80s. The film will also be directed by and star Ben Affleck.
In the untitled film, from Amazon Studios, Skydance Sports and Mandalay Pictures, viewers will see the story of how Nike attempted and were successful in signing Jordan his rookie year.
For those unaware, in 1984, Nike offered Jordan a five-year, $500,000 (about $1.2 million in today’s dollars) per year deal, with an upfront commitment of $250,000 dollars and his own sneaker line. The shoe line, which was a key-part of Jordan signing, would go on to become the Nike Air Jordan’s.
Actress Viola Davis will get to work with real life husband Julius Tennon who will be playing Jordan’s father, as she will be playing Michael’s mother, Deloris Jordan. As recently revealed in “The Last Dance,” Deloris played a huge role in Jordan signing with Nike as she was the one to convince him to hear them out in the first place. “My mother said, ‘You’re gonna go listen. You may not like it, but you’re gonna go listen,” Jordan said in reference to his mother’s role in the Nike signing. “She made me get on that plane and go listen.”
Chris Tucker will play Howard “H” White. White was the junior executive of Nike’s basketball department at the time the movie takes place. White served as the day-to-day connection with Nike’s roster of NBA players following his time as a college basketball player for the University of Maryland. In 1988, Jordan had entertained the idea of leaving for Adidas (the brand he originally wanted to sign to). White was the man who negotiated with Michael, which led to him staying with the company. Today, White is the Vice President of Sports Marketing for Jordan Brand.
Marlon Wayans joins the cast as well, playing George Raveling. Raveling is the first Black coach in both the ACC and the PAC 10 conferences of College Basketball. He met and befriended Jordan while serving as an assistant coach on the 1984 gold medal-winning U.S. Men’s Olympic basketball team. It was during this time together that Raveling first introduced the idea of signing with Nike to Jordan. “Sonny (Vaccaro) likes to take the credit. But it really wasn’t Sonny, it was actually George Raveling. George Raveling was with me on the 1984 Olympics team. He used to always try to talk to me, ‘You gotta go Nike, you gotta go Nike. You’ve got to try,” Jordan said.
Production for the film has already started in Los Angeles. As of this point, there is no specific release date but is believed to be released in 2023 on Prime Video.