With the first Space Jam film now considered a cult classic and a reboot in the making, it’s hard to imagine that universe without basketball as its core - but it almost happened, with skateboarding and Tony Hawk as leads. Back in 1996, Warner Bros. mixed two elements that don't seem to have much in common: the Looney Tunes and Michael Jordan, resulting in the highest-grossing basketball film of all-time.
A sequel was planned but with Michael Jordan passing on it, the project was cancelled. It was picked up and re-imagined years later, becoming Joe Dante’s Looney Tunes: Back In Action, which left sports behind and instead focused on more Looney Tunes-like situations. The film bombed, and other projects suffered the consequences - like a Space Jam sequel starring Tony Hawk.
Via his official Twitter account, Hawk shared that in 2003, in the midst of the Looney Tunes’ comeback in Back In Action, he “was requested to meet with Warner Brothers” about doing a film based on skateboarding, tentatively titled Skate Jam. Sadly, as a result of Back in Action’s bad box office performance, the project never came to be.
in 2003, I was requested to meet with Warner Brothers about doing a film tentatively titled “Skate Jam.” They were bringing back Looney Tunes with “Back In Action” & then wanted to start on my project immediately. A week later Back In Action bombed & Skate Jam was shelved forever pic.twitter.com/9giKzBnlWH— Tony Hawk (@tonyhawk) January 5, 2019
Although a Skate Jam film with Tony Hawk sounds like an interesting project, it’s not exactly something that the skateboarder needed. Since then, Hawk has appeared in a number of films and series, launched a YouTube channel, and has continued with his Tony Hawk’s video game series. In fact, he launched Tony Hawk’s Skate Jam last month, a free-to-play game for iOS and Android.
Back to the Space Jam universe, a reboot is now in the making, with LeBron James set to star and produce alongside Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and Fast & Furious director Justin Lin. Back in September, James revealed that this film won’t be a sequel, but a reboot, which they hope will make way for sequels. It’s going to be interesting to see which other NBA superstars will be invited to the project (and which ones will accept), though we probably can’t expect Stephen Curry or Kevin Durant to show up. Even if the new Space Jam is a success, it’s unlikely that the Skate Jam idea will be picked up. While Hawk's still active in the skateboarding world, a mix of Looney Tunes and skateboarding wouldn’t have the same impact it could've had 15 years ago. Still, it’s fun to imagine what such a film might've been like.
Source: Tony Hawk.