Who plays Michael Jordan in Air?

Michael Jordan in The Last DanceNetflix

Who plays Michael Jordan in Air? Ben Affleck and Matt Damon’s Air Jordan origin story will hit cinemas soon – but who portrays the GOAT in the movie?

Air is Affleck’s upcoming, all-star biopic chronicling one of the most significant moments of Jordan’s career. Not his first NBA MVP award, not his brief stint in Minor League Baseball – the origin of his Air Jordan shoe line with Nike.

Rather than following Jordan himself, the movie follows the efforts of Sonny Vaccaro (Damon), Phil Knight (Affleck), Howard White (Chris Tucker), and Rob Strasser (Jason Bateman) to win him and his family over and get him to sign with Nike. You can read our review of the movie here.

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While you shouldn’t get too excited to see Michael Jordan in the movie, there is an actor playing him in a few scenes – here’s what you need to know.

Who plays Michael Jordan in Air?

Damian Young plays Michael Jordan in Air.

However, he’s essentially just filling his shoes – we never really see his face, and Jordan makes extremely brief appearances, always facing away from the camera or obscured by something or someone.

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At a Q&A earlier this month, Affleck explained his decision to not make Jordan a full-fledged character in the movie.

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“It was not Michael’s decision, I did not ever plan on it, because I never thought for a second – hey, Michael is so magnificent, so famous, the whole reason why he represents and means what he does in terms of greatness and excellence, is because he’s so, so enigmatic and majestic and identifiable immediately, by his carriage and demeanour and what we’ve seen him do physically,” the actor-director said, as per IndieWire.

“That the one sure way to ruin the movie and have the audience understand that the whole thing is a fraud is to point the camera at anybody that’s not Michael Jordan and say, ‘Hey, that’s Michael Jordan!'”

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“Because all of a sudden, they’re like, ‘This is the knockoff Michael Jordan!’ He’s too famous, and I like him being the guy above it. It’s how our relationship is with these icons and idols, they’re not in our living rooms, in our lives, they’re people who are in our fantasies. The only person who could play Michael Jordan, as I’ve said to him, is too old now to play Michael Jordan.”

Air hits cinemas on April 5, 2023. Check out our four-star review here and how to watch it here.

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