The NBA may be shut down now due to the coronavirus outbreak, but don’t worry: the intergalactic basketball rivalry between the Tune Squad and the Monstars never takes a break.
LeBron James today revealed the title and a new logo for his followup to Michael Jordan and Warner Bros.’ 1996 kind-of classic Space Jam. Get ready to embrace Space Jam: A New Legacy.
Nice to see LeBron growing out his quarantine beard. And his emoji game is also on point per usual. The name A New Legacy seems to be dovetail with what James has been going for with this whole project. Weird as it sounds, starring in a blockbuster film was a major feather in Michael Jordan’s cap in the argument for basketball’s all-time greatest player. Throughout James’ career, he’s built up a convincing argument for basketball GOAT himself. The only challenge that remains is to team up with Bugs Bunny to defeat the Monstars.
Space Jam: A New Legacy still has its July 16, 2021 release date. Given the scheduling chaos that the COVID-19 outbreak hath wrought, it seems quite possible that that could be moved around before it’s all said and done. Terrence Nance (Random Acts of Flyness) was originally attached to direct but was replaced by Malcolm D. Lee. James and his business partner Maverick Carter are producing the project through their SpringHill Entertainment imprint. Ryan Coogler (Black Panther) also serves as producer.
Space Jam: A New Legacy will of course feature many of Warner Bros. Looney Tunes (in their first film appearance since 2003’s Looney Tunes: Back in Action). In addition to the animated characters, Don Cheadle and Sonequa Martin-Green have been confirmed for the film with Martin-Green playing James’ wife, Savannah. NBA stars set to appear are Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, and Kyle Kuzma. WNBA stars Diana Taurasi, Nneka Ogwumike, and Chiney Ogwumike will be a part of the film as well.
The original Space Jam has a curious cultural legacy. The film was a financial success when it was released in 1996, becoming the highest grossing basketball movie of all time. It has since become a sort of ‘90s cultural totem – an exemplar of what humanity is capable of when it’s dedicated to being as weird and corny as possible.
The story of Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls is currently being told in ESPN’s sprawling documentary series The Last Dance. Maybe one day 20 years from now when LeBron’s ESPN documentary is airing, we’ll hear about Space Jam 3 starring Bronny James.