LeBron James is reportedly having difficulty recruiting fellow NBA players to co-star with him in Space Jam 2. While the original film was a vehicle for Michael Jordan, he was hardly the only basketball great that appeared. A handful of Jordan's contemporaries, including Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, and Larry Johnson, had roles as the players who had their talents stolen by the villainous Monstars. While it hasn't been confirmed, many expect this new film to follow a similar premise, meaning director Terence Nance will need to find the next generation of Monstars.
The NBA is arguably more popular than it's ever been and several current players have extremely large profiles that would only give Space Jam 2 more selling points. Fans are likely dreaming about seeing the likes of Stephen Curry, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Joel Embiid on the big screen, but they may have to temper those expectations somewhat. With the film gearing up to start production soon, James hasn't been able to round out a supporting cast.
According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst (via Chris Montano), James hasn't been able to lock down deals with some of the "top guys" he wants for Space Jam 2. No player names were given and Windhorst didn't elaborate much beyond what he said, but he insinuated some people don't want to get dunked on by LeBron and look bad - even if it's just for a movie.
According to Brian Windhorst, LeBron James is having trouble convincing players to join him in Space Jam 2 👀 pic.twitter.com/WUrJcoeSy7— Chris Montano (@gswchris) April 4, 2019
This adds further insult to what's already been a hard year for James. Since his Los Angeles Lakers are eliminated from postseason contention, this is the first time since 2005 James won't be in the NBA playoffs. One of his ulterior motives for signing in LA last summer was to advance his career in the entertainment industry, so it doesn't bode well that he's having trouble getting a cast in place for his biggest project yet. As for the reasons why, Space Jam 2 is filming over the summer, a time of year where some players work on developing their games to improve for the next season. It's possible the NBA's premier talent would rather do that instead of taking a bit part in a movie. It could also be a case of schedules not lining up or other circumstances.
Surely, Nance, James, and company will eventually get more players to come onboard, but they may not be the team's first choices. Nevertheless, it'll be interesting to see who eventually signs on. This summer is going to be a particularly crazy one in the NBA landscape, as there will be several superstar players making life and career altering decisions in free agency and getting acclimated to new situations. Space Jam 2 may be a big thing for James, but clearly several of his fellow players don't feel the same way.
Source: Chris Montano
- Space Jam 2 (2021) release date: Jul 16, 2021