Ben Affleck says depicting Michael Jordan in ‘Air’ “would destroy the movie”.

Ben Affleck didn't want to put Michael Jordan in his movie about his shoe line

Ben Affleck didn't want to put Michael Jordan in his movie about his shoe line

The ‘Argo’ director - who helmed the story of the iconic Nike shoe line Air Jordan’s conception in the 80s that he also stars in with Matt Damon, Viola Davis and Jason Bateman- admitted not putting the NBA legend, now 60, in the movie because of “naked self-interest” because no actor could match the “one of kind” energy of him.

The 50-year-old actor said according to the Hollywood Reporter: “How do you tell a story about Michael Jordan and never see him?

“When you are that person, when you become so much more than a hero or an athlete or even an icon, you start to become an idea to people. You touch them and just start to represent hope and excellence and greatness. You are one of a kind. And there is no way I was ever going to ask an audience to believe that anybody other than Michael Jordan was Michael Jordan. Which was also out of my own naked self-interest, frankly, because I knew it would destroy the movie. You will see him [in archival clips] in the movie, but you will see Michael Jordan as he truly is in his authentic masterful genius which exists for all of us to see. It was a deliberate choice. I thought he was too majestic to have anyone impersonate him and – as I told him – ‘You’re too old to play the part.'”

Previously, Ben deemed Michael “too big” to cast with a performer.

He told the same magazine: “Jordan is too big. He exists above and around the story, but if you ever concretize him, if you ever say, ‘Yes, that’s Michael Jordan,’ we know it’s not, really. It’s fake. I thought if the audience brought everything they thought and remembered about him and what he meant to them to the movie and projected it onto the movie, it worked better.”