LeBron James and Justin Lin Will ‘Space Jam’ Too
Congratulations internet, you did it. You finally did it. You finally convinced Warner Bros. that they should actually make Space Jam 2.
The original 1996 film co-starred a (then recently retired) Michael Jordan as himself, who was then enlisted by the Looney Tunes to play basketball against aliens in a subplot directly lifted from the 1981 TV movie The Harlem Globetrotters on Gilligan’s Island. It was a plotless, charmless, cynical exercise in franchise pandering – with a pretty good soundtrack – that was the 18th highest grossing film of 1996, right between The English Patient and Star Trek: First Contact.
Twenty years later, basketball star LeBron James has decided to star in a sequel to Space Jam which will be directed by Star Trek Beyond and Fast Five filmmaker Justin Lin. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Andrew Dodge (Bad Words) and Alfredo Botello (Hollywood Adventures) will collaborate on the screenplay.
LeBron James made his big acting debut playing himself in last year’s acclaimed and financially successful romantic comedy Trainwreck, which of course raises the question: if James once again plays himself in Space Jam Too, does that mean all of the characters from that Amy Schumer comedy live in a world where the Looney Tunes are real?
It’s also worth pointing out that in this futuristic year of 2016, when franchise crossovers are plentiful thanks to hit films like Warner Bros.’ own The LEGO Movie, it’s entirely possible that this new Space Jam could feature popular characters beyond the Looney Tunes, including DC superheroes, LEGO characters and more.
But maybe that would betray the sanctity of the Space Jam brand… somehow…
Look, let’s be honest, the original Space Jam was made A) for very small children and B) to sell merchandise, and it hit both of those targets hard. LeBron James proved himself to be very capable at playing LeBron James in Trainwreck, and Justin Lin is a very good director. This might turn out okay.
Top Photos: Warner Bros. / Universal Pictures
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon, and watch him on the weekly YouTube series Most Craved, Rapid Reviews and What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.