Ben Affleck and Matt Damon have once again teamed up after writing “The Last Duel,” their first screenplay together in 1997.
Affleck directs and Damon stars in “Air,” the new film about Nike’s courting of Michael Jordan that opens in theaters Wednesday.
That film, an Apple TV+ original being released theatrically by MGM, is only part of their new collaboration.
It’s the first release from their new production company, Artists Equity. Affleck is the chief executive, Damon is head of content. Part of its mission is to give prominent crew and cast members a piece of profits.
To Affleck, “Air” — in which the then-upstart Nike pursues a sneaker deal with Jordan while his mother (played by Viola Davis) advocates for his worth — represents what they hope to do with their new company.
“We believe there are a lot of really meaningful artists on the crew who are underappreciated and undervalued and make a huge difference in the quality of the experience in a film,” Affleck said in an interview alongside Damon.
“We want to sort of take the approach taken towards Michael Jordan, which is to recognize the artists and say: You’re the ones who deserve to be compensated for this. You’re generating the art, the beauty, the majesty.”
And with “Air,” they may have already generated a hit.
The film, which co-stars Jason Bateman, Chris Tucker, Chris Messina and Julius Tennon, has drawn rave reviews since its premiere at SXSW.