Chatter about Space Jam 2, the follow-up to 1996’s blockbuster hit Space Jam, has been ongoing since 2014. But now that the film is finally ready for release on July 14, now is a good time to give a rundown of everything fans ought to know about this long-in-the-making live-action-animated hybrid.
We’ll start with its official title — Space Jam 2: A New Legacy — and the fact that it will be released both on selected theaters and on HBO Max (along with other Warner Bros projects such as The Suicide Squad, The Godzilla vs. Kong, and Tom and Jerry). That said, here are four more things to know about this much hyped film:
1. It’s Headlined by The King
The lead star of Space Jam 2 is none other than LeBron James, who was nominated twice — for Social Celebrity and Game Changer — in last year’s People’s Choice Awards. Interestingly, LeBron is playing for Hollywood’s team, the Los Angeles Lakers, which made Bwin’s ‘Most Successful US Sports Franchises’ list.
Prior to LeBron signing with the Purple and Gold in 2018, they trailed the Boston Celtics in total titles won, 17-16; but with the four-time MVP leading the way, the Lakers are now tied with their long-time rivals, and are poised to move ahead if they repeat as champions this season. And as stated already, Space Jam 2 is slated for release on July, or a month after the NBA Finals.
2. LeBron will be Battling a Malfunctioning AI
Whereas 1996’s Space Jam had aliens as the villains (The Monstars), Space Jam 2 will see real life LeBron trying to outsmart a powerful computer algorithm named Al-G Rhythm (to be played by Don Cheadle) to rescue a loved one and escape the digital realm they are trapped in.
And just like in the original, the Looney Tunes squad will play a big role in LeBron’s quest, as they will be helping The King win a digital basketball game featuring super-versions of several NBA and WNBA players so LeBron and company can get back into the real world.
3. It will Feature a Few Other Hoops Luminaries
Like the original Space Jam, the follow-up will also star some of LeBron’s peers in the NBA, plus a few superstars from the WNBA. According to Bleacher Report, among the NBA stars set to appear in the film are Anthony Davis of the Lakers, Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors, and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trailblazers.
On the distaff side, on the other hand, will be Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury and the Ogwumike sisters, Nneka and Chiney, of the Los Angeles Sparks.
In contrast, the original Space Jam starred Michael Jordan and featured Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing, Larry Johnson, Muggsy Bogues, and a bunch of other NBA players who made cameos.
4. It’s Co-Produced by LeBron, Ryan Coogler, and Maverick Carter
Aside from starring in the film, LeBron is also one its producers, along with Ryan Coogler and Maverick Carter. Coogler, of course, is an award-winning director and screenwriter best known for co-writing and directing Creed and Black Panther. Carter, on the other hand, is a close friend of LeBron, and a co-founder of frequent Warner Bros collaborator SpringHill Entertainment. He is also the brainchild behind The Decision, a TV special in which LeBron announced his decision to leave Cleveland in the summer of 2010, and The LeBrons, a series of Nike commercials starring caricatures of LeBron.
Space Jam: A New Legacy has been a long time coming, and early indications suggest that it is worth the wait. Come July 14, we will all find out.