Ben Affleck as Nike co-founder Phil Knight? Yep, it’s happening…

·2 min read

If you’ve ever sat down to watch the ESPN 30 for 30 documentary ‘Sole Man,’ then you know that the story of Nike’s rise under co-founder Phil Knight — with the help of executive Sonny Vaccarro — is a fascinating tale of the sneaker industry in the world of sports, and how it’s transformed the world that we live in.

The story is apparently fascinating enough to make it to the silver screen in the next couple of years, with the famous duo of Matt Damon and Ben Affleck co-writing a script about Nike’s efforts to sign Michael Jordan to a shoe contract in the 1980s. It’s been announced that both will star in the film as well, with Damon playing the role of Vaccarro, and Affleck playing none other than Oregon legend Phil Knight himself.

Seeing Knight be portrayed on the big screen isn’t a new phenomenon. In fact, most recently in the HBO series ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty,’ Knight was portrayed once again in the race to land Magic Johnson to a sneaker contract early in his career as well.

Tyson Alger, with the i5 Corridor, interviewed the actor who played Knight, Olli Haaskivi, about playing the sports apparel giant.

“I felt really lucky when preparing for it that I couldn’t find any footage of him in 1979, at the age we meet him in the show,” Haaskivi told Alger. “There wasn’t really anyone for me to impersonate or mimic. I got to have all of this material, but I really got to use my imagination and try to — I imagine everyone feels like they’re trying to capture the essence more than doing a literal impersonation of something.”

So what will Affleck’s version of Knight look like? That’s a hard question to answer. Will it be ‘Batman’ Affleck or expletive-laced ‘Any Given Wednesday’ Affleck?

Only time will tell. When the movie is eventually released, though, we certainly will be watching.

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