The original “Space Jam” was released in 1996, and now, over two decades later, there’s a sequel on the way. Even with the very strange premise of Looney Tunes characters and Michael Jordan playing a basketball game to save the universe, the film did really well. It had a budget of eighty million dollars but managed to bring in ninety million domestically on top of one hundred and sixty million throughout the rest of the world. Rumors of a sequel have surfaced many times over the years, and Warner Bros. executives have pushed for it a long time too; however, Michael Jordan busied himself with more promising projects.
This time around, it’s Lebron James starring instead, which is a spectacular evolution. The creator of “Random Acts Of Flyness,” Terence Nance, will be directing, and Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) is producing. Lebron James stated in an interview that he signed on because of Coogler, saying, “The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie. It’s so much bigger. I’d just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don’t just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.” James has only appeared on screen in the 2015 comedy “Trainwreck,” and while he acted well, that was only a supporting role. His first time starring should be a truer test, especially because it’s difficult to have good interactions with characters who haven’t yet been edited into the movie. Filming will start in the off season for basketball in 2019 and will likely conclude then.