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Black Panther Director To Produce LeBron James' Space Jam Sequel [UPDATED]

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UPDATE: Space Jam 2 is not a sequel, but a franchise reboot. The original article follows.

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Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is set to produce LeBron James' Space Jam 2. Back in the 90s, Michael Jordan made the jump from professional athlete to movie star thanks to a leading role in Space Jam. The animated/live-action hybrid teamed Jordan up with classic Looney Tunes characters and became a favorite film for a generation of kids. Over the last several years, another Space Jam has been in the works, with LeBron James stepping into the leading role.

Space Jam 2 originally landed Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin and has been trying to get off the ground for a few years. Rumors pointed to a major announcement coming earlier this summer when James made his free agency decision. He signed with the Los Angeles Lakers to play a few more years of basketball but also establish himself in the movie and TV landscape. He's been lining up several projects since, and now Space Jam 2 is making major progress.

Related: Why LeBron James' Space Jam 2 Trailer Didn't Release

THR reports Ryan Coogler is now attached to Space Jam 2 as a producer. This partnership with James makes it Coogler's first new project since Black Panther released. He is just producing the film, though, as Terence Nance (The Oversimplification of Her Beauty) is set to direct. Production is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2019 during the NBA offseason. LeBron's production company SpringHill Entertainment confirmed the news - and Bugs Bunny's return.

Coogler has been on a meteoric rise through Hollywood over the last several years. He began his film career with Fruitvale Station in 2013, before jumping to Creed in 2015, and just broke box office records with Black Panther. His name being attached gives Space Jam 2 another major name to include during promotion. It may also help the movie recruit more established actors for the necessary parts. While the original Space Jam included cameos from other NBA players, Bill Murray had the most prominent role of the bunch. With the Coogler connection, one has to wonder if Michael B. Jordan could become involved.

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This report finally confirmed Nance as the director of Space Jam 2 as well. Now that he is locked in alongside LeBron and Coogler, the three look to be finalizing plans for the sequel. No official production start date has been set, and that date could depend on how far the Lakers go in the playoffs - if they make it at all. Still, a tentative schedule at this stage makes this the farthest along in production Space Jam 2 has actually gotten. They'll still need to finish the script and cast other athletes and actors around James, but it does look like Space Jam 2 will indeed happen and that Coogler is going to help make it possible.

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MORE: Infinity War Directors Hint at Ryan Coogler For Black Panther 2

Source: THR, SpringHill Entertainment

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