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The Full Scoop On Space Jam 2

The Full Scoop On Space Jam 2

NBA studs starring in Hollywood movies have a mixed track record. Shaquille O’Neal in Kazaam is certainly on the bad side, Ray Allen’s He Got Game ranks in the middle, and Space Jam featuring Michael Jordan is on the high end.

LeBron James is throwing himself into the mix with Space Jam: A New Legacy, slated to debut this July. Other NBA superstars slated to appear in the film include Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, and Damian Lillard. Diana Taurasi and Nneka Ogwumike of the WNBA will also make guest appearances. 

With the movie’s release only two months away (officially opens on July 16, 2021), here’s everything you need to know about the summer blockbuster:

A Sequel 25 Years In The Making

The Jordan-led Space Jam was a critical and financial success when it hit theaters in 1996. Against an $80 budget, the flick grossed $250 million worldwide. Even better, in merchandising, the movie brought in another $1 billion on the back of a Nike tie-in.

It’s incredibly rare for movies that successful not to receive a follow-up. But oh boy, did the studio heads at Warner Bros try to make a sequel with its cash cow, Jordan. Unfortunately, “His Airness” wasn’t up for a big screen return and the movie stalled for years before being canned altogether.

But that was then, this is now, and today’s generation has a new Jordan-like figure — LeBron. If you weren’t already tired of the endless Jordan vs. LeBron G.O.A.T. debate, welp, we’re about to get another talking point, for better or worse. Who has better acting chops? Which movie will be more successful? Somewhere, someplace, Skip Bayless is plotting his next “hot take.” 

“Space Jam” by Warner Bros is licensed under CC BY 3.0 

Deeper Plot Than Just FIghting Fictional Villains 

Who could forget the villainous team from the first movie, the Monstars? The talent-stealing Monstars almost defeated Jordan and the Looney Tunes — if not for one, physics-bending dunk from Jordan himself as time expired.

In Space Jam 2, LeBron, like Jordan, will join forces with the likes of Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, Tasmanian Devil, among others. They’ll do battle with a new group of bad guys, though, this time named The Goon Squad.  

But for the adults watching, a deeper theme at the crux of the film will be fatherhood. Space Jam producer Ryan Coogler (who directed Black Panther and Creed) has already said so in interviews. LeBron will have a fictional family in the movie, one son of which LeBron’s character will have a tough time relating to (no, the actor will not be played by Bronnie Jr. himself either). Repairing that father-son relationship will be central to the film’s overarching story.  

More Guest Appearances Than NBA Players And Looney Tunes

If you’ve seen the trailer for Space Jam 2, you know the movie cast doesn’t just include NBA pros and Tunes characters. Nope, it’s chock full of other Warner Bros IP’s, all of which live in the “Serve Verse” — a fictional universe where the in-movie basketball game unfolds. 

Inside the movie trailer includes characters from Game of Thrones, The Jetsons, Harry Potter, DC Comics, King Kong, and plenty more. This all makes sense since this is the same movie studio which produced Ready Player One, a pop culture-filled Easter egg hunt of a movie in its own right.  

“Space Jam” by Warner Bros is licensed under CC BY 3.0 

How The Movie Got Made Amidst The Pandemic

Like all things, the pandemic threw a wrench in the movie’s production, though, a manageable one. While the live-action segments were filmed over the summer of 2019, the visual effects didn’t start until March 2020 — ya know, the same time period when COVID-19 erupted throughout the United States. Thankfully for the animators, this work can be done remotely, which they did without a hitch. 

There was talk about possibly pushing back the July 16 release — which was announced from the get-go in 2019. But thanks to wide-spread vaccinations in the United States, that plan has remained in-place as theaters have slowly returned to normal. 

While all this is known about Space Jam 2 already, we’re confident that LeBron and company will have another bag of surprises once the movie sees the light of day. Do you have any guesses on what could be in store?

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