LeBron James' Space Jam 2 will officially arrive in theaters in the summer of 2021. The original Space Jam starred Michael Jordan during his return to the NBA after a brief retirement to play baseball, which was worked into the script, and the Looney Tunes pairing immediately became a favorite sports film of the generation. However, the love for the original hasn't stopped the idea of a sequel coming, and LeBron has long been rumored to be taking his talents to the franchise.
The movie was officially kicked into development in 2016 when Justin Lin was hired to direct, but the project went cold after that. It wasn't until late last year that Space Jam 2 began to make progress again when Warner Bros. hired Terence Nance to be the new director. The film has continued to move forward since this point in time, even though no additional casting or plot details have yet to be revealed. However, Warner Bros. is now confident enough in the film to give it a release date.
As shared by THR, Warner Bros. gave Space Jam 2 a July 16, 2021 release date. It is currently the only film set to open wide this weekend, although there is still plenty of time for that to change at the moment. That said, the competition won't be entirely lacking, as Indiana Jones 5 is slated to open the weekend before Space Jam 2 hits theaters, and Mission: Impossible 7 the week after.
This release date is a major step forward for the movie, but one that is somewhat surprising given the reported production schedule. Space Jam 2 will reportedly film this summer during the NBA offseason, which may be a bit longer for James as his new team, the LA Lakers, would currently miss the playoff cut. The reason for the two year head start on the release may very well be attributed to the animation that is required. If this release date holds, Space Jam 2 will release the same summer that James could potentially opt out of his contract with Hollywood's biggest sports franchise.
With the little information available on Space Jam 2, fans of the original film may not need to worry about how it will tie in to Jordan and Bugs' adventure as it is reportedly a reboot and not a sequel, despite the current Space Jam 2 title. Regardless, the film will lean heavily on the star power of LeBron and the Looney Tunes to market itself, while having Black Panther director Ryan Coogler aboard as a producer won't hurt. But, with LeBron currently the only cast member, it hopefully won't be too long before we know what other NBA and Hollywood stars will join him for Space Jam 2 - maybe even the original star.