Nostalgia carries a lot of weight in Hollywood, a driving force behind a lot of green lights given to different projects. If studios feel that something will strike a chord with the memories of widespread audiences, then they will take a shot on it. Two big nostalgic pop culture icons for kids who grew up in the 1990s were the live-action/animation hybrid basketball comedy Space Jam and popular race car toys Hot Wheels. Among the many attached projects for Lin, the director of entries three through six in the Fast and Furious franchise and the most recent Star Trek film, is the long-awaited sequel to Space Jam and the Hot Wheels live-action film.
Speaking at the TCA 2017 press tour (via Slashfilm), where he was promoting his work on the upcoming S.W.A.T. TV series reboot, Lin gave updates to both of these gestating projects – which have simply been announced, at this stage. On Space Jam 2, there seems to be a sense of urgency from Warner Brothers to get the film off and running, but Lin has been preaching patience to the studio, wanting to make sure that everything is right before diving in to the Looney Tunes adventure:
Warner Brothers has been great. I feel like it’s been very precious. Everybody at the studio’s been calling, ‘Let’s go, let’s go’ and I’m like [it’s] not right yet. To me, the challenge is we have actors who are also professional athletes, so schedule is something that is tough. I’ve been really wanting to push that genre, but to do that you need the right amount of time. So there’s a logistical challenge but also creatively, to do a sequel 20 years later with a new cast and also to be able to, in a relevant way, bring the Looney Tunes back. That’s very important to me to do it right. I feel I’ve done nine different iterations already and we’re going to keep going, but we’re getting closer every day.
Lin notes that it’s difficult to work around the busy schedule of Space Jam 2 star LeBron James, who is still in the midst of his NBA career – as opposed to original Space Jam star Michael Jordan, who was in the middle of his first retirement at the time of the first movie. In speaking about Hot Wheels, Lin discusses how special the property is to him, having watched his love for the toys crossover to his kids and further generations:
For me, Fast and Furious is not just a car movie either. I have an eight-year-old who plays with Hot Wheels all the time. To me, it’s amazing [to see] the therapeutic and healing properties of imagination. Those are themes I really want to explore through that because I had my own relationship with Hot Wheels when I was a kid and now I’m seeing it with my kid, so it is something I’m very excited about.
As busy a schedule as Lin has, it could be a while before either of these projects go into official development. He boarded Space Jam 2 in May of 2016 and Hot Wheels last September, but little has progressed beyond the initial phase. His passion for both of these properties ring true in his comments, however, which should be comforting for those who are worried that the nostalgia of a Space Jam 2 and Hot Wheels will be fumbled.
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