In the history of cinema, perhaps no film has achieved the legacy of “Space Jam.” The 1996 live-action/animated flick threw together a strange amalgamation of the Looney Tunes, aliens, Bill Murray, and arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, Michael Jordan. While the premise and cast of characters may appear as a disjointed hodgepodge on paper, the end result is heralded as a masterpiece.
Flash forward to 2016, and twenty years later the wacky film is widely considered a classic. Talks of a sequel have circulated for years. In 2014, Deadline reported a potential follow up starring LeBron James, while KDrama further generated hype with a rumored Kevin Durant vs. LeBron matchup. A July 22, 2015 LA Times article revealed that James had indeed signed with Warner Bros., the production company behind the original. James even hinted at “Space Jam 2,” as reported by Collider in Aug. 2015.
Now it seems the rumors have come to fruition. As officially announced on May 2, 2015 LeBron will assume the lead role, with Justin Lin (“Fast & Furious,” ‘Better Luck Tomorrow,”) assuming directorial control. Lin certainly has a slew of experience, and this will not be LeBron’s first foray (or likely last) into acting, as he most recently appeared in “Trainwreck” starring Amy Schumer.
Giving the sequel treatment to classic films has become something of a trend, with a forthcoming “Blade Runner,” follow up and imminent “Ghostbusters” film (a particularly bold choice considering the critically panned existing sequel). The first film benefited from a veteran producer in Ivan Reitman, whose many accolades include “Animal House,” Ghostbusters,” and “Metaballs.” “Space Jam,” is still cherished by many, its spontaneity and genuine charm unrivaled. The 80’s had “The Goonies,” and the 90’s had “Space Jam.” “Space Jam” didn’t just end with the final credits. It featured a soundtrack that went 6x platinum, gracing Walkmans worldwide with “Hit ‘Em High,” and R. Kelly’s major hit “I Believe I Can Fly.” ESPN even released a parody “30 for 30” on “Space Jam.” The upcoming “Space Jam 2” certainly has high expectations to meet or exceed in its predecessor.