Space Jam is one of those films that is filled with warm nostalgic feelings. The amazing crossover film had Michael Jordan, maybe the best player in the history of the NBA, teaming up with the Looney Tunes for a basketball movie. And despite sounding like someone’s fever dream, the movie was a massive success that is still looked back on fondly to this day.
Given the film’s popularity, it’s a wonder a sequel never came along. But now things are finally coming together for the long-awaited follow-up. There’s still a lot we don’t know about the film, but we have enough details that fans can start getting excited for. Here’s what we know so far about Space Jam 2.
10 Lebron James Will Star
One of the first words about this new Space Jam film was that Lebron James would be its star. Presumably, like the first movie, he will play himself and be recruited by the Looney Tunes for a high-stakes basketball game.
While Michael Jordan’s appearance in the original will always be iconic, James seems like an obvious choice for the update. He is the NBA’s reigning superstar and has shown off some solid acting skills in Trainwreck. James has spoken about his love of the first film and this seems to be a real passion project of his.
9 Terence Nance Will Direct
Though it might seem like a silly kids’ movie, something like Space Jam requires a talented director if it has a chance of working out. The director will need to coordinate both the live action and cartoon elements, direct athletes with little acting experience, and keep the whole thing from seeming too ridiculous.
It’s a tall order to meet, so hopefully, director Terence Nance is up for the challenge. Nance is relatively new to the feature film world but has plenty of experience in short films and television. It will be exciting to see how he will handle his first big project.
8 Justin Lin Was Once Attached
While the new Space Jam movie seems to have settled on its director, it did at one point have a fairly big name attached to the helm of the film. Justin Lin was once considering the film as his next directing project. Lin has already proven to be a wildly successful director with four Fast & Furious films as well as Star Trek Beyond. However, he eventually stepped away from the project.
Lin is obviously a very talented filmmaker and it would have been great to see what he would do with the project. He appears to be attached as a producer but his involvement at this stage is unclear.
7 Ryan Coogler Will Produce
Like Justin Lin, another talented director attached to this film should get fans excited. Ryan Coogler will oversee the film as producer. Coogler gained acclaim with Fruitvale Station and Creed before Black Panther made him one of the most sought-after directors in Hollywood.
It’s no surprise Coogler isn’t stepping into the director’s chair himself, as he is quite a busy man these days. But having someone like him a part of the production can only improve the film. He’s shown that he can bring a lot of depth to genre films.
6 Filming Will Start This Summer
We’ve been hearing about the possibilities of another Space Jam movie for half a decade, but things really seem to be moving along now. After years in development and multiple false starts, Space Jam 2 looks to be getting ready to finally go in front of the camera.
It has been reported that Warner Bros. is planning on starting filming in June. This is likely meant to work around James’ busy basketball schedule. While promises had been made and broken before, this is the closest the film has come to becoming a reality.
5 It Has A Release Date
Along with a presumed start of filming, the movie now has a release date, making it even more of a certainty it will happen. Unfortunately, the film is still a long way from theaters.
Warner Bros. has given Space Jam 2 a release date of July 16, 2021. That’s not exactly right around the corner, but given that the film is months away from filming, it makes sense that there’s a long wait. The film has some solid competition already announced as Indiana Jones 5 and Mission: Impossible 7 are opening shortly after, but it’s likely this film will still find its audience.
4 Other Versions Of The Film
While we have been hearing about the Lebron James-starring Space Jam follow-up for years, this was not the only version of the film that was being considered. After the success of the first film, the studio tried to get a sequel going with other athletes leading the film.
The first film’s director, Joe Pytka, said one such script was circulated with Tiger Woods starring. Another version was said to involve pro-skater Tony Hawk. While it might have been interesting to see this concept with a new sport at its center, going with the more charismatic athlete in Lebron James was probably the right move.
3 Lola Rabbit May Be The Lead
The official release date for the film was announced via Springhill Entertainment’s Twitter account. Springhill Entertainment is the production company Lebron James owns as a collaborator with Warner Bros. The announcement featured a teaser poster featuring James, Bugs Bunny, and Lola Bunny. Interestingly, however, Lola receives higher billing than Bugs.
Lola Bunny made her debut in the original Space Jam. She was pretty much just used as a love interest for Bugs and was strangely sexualized. Given that there are very few female Looney Tunes characters, the movie might try to be pushing Lola into the spotlight and give her a more substantial role.
2 It’s A Reboot
For much of its development, it was thought that this film would be a sequel to the original film. But despite the title, Space Jam 2, the film will apparently be a reboot to the series.
Given the time that’s past since the last film, it makes sense that the filmmakers would want to be freed from the 1996 film. With no plot details released, it remains to be seen how the new film will differ from the original and where they might share some similarities.
1 Michael Jordan May Appear
While there are many who are excited about the new film, there are some diehard fans of the original who can’t imagine Space Jam without Michael Jordan in the lead role. Jordan’s performance in the original wasn’t going to win any awards, but he fit into the world of that movie perfectly. However, there may be hope for Air Jordan to be involved.
The team behind the new movie have stated that they hope Jordan will be in the film to some capacity. While Jordan might be keen to pass the torch, it would seem like a missed opportunity to not even have him in a cameo.