LeBron James-Led 'Space Jam 2' Moving Forward With Ryan Coogler Producing, Terence Nance Directing
By Meredith B. Kile
Warner Bros. Pictures/Getty Images
Welcome back to the Jam!
The LeBron James-led Space Jam 2 is a go, as evidenced by an image shared by James' Springhill Entertainment on Wednesday. The pic shows an NBA-style locker room, with side-by-side spots for James and Bugs Bunny. It also serves as the announcement that Random Acts of Flyness creator Terence Nance will be directing the upcoming sequel, and Black Panther's Ryan Coogler is set to serve as a producer on the project.
Other Looney Tunes shout-outs in the pic include sketches of Lola Bunny, Marvin the Martian and Tweety Bird, graffiti that reads "Daffy was here," and some Tune Squad uniforms.
“The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” James told The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday, explaining why his appreciation for Coogler's Black Panther vision influenced his desire to have him involved with this project. “It's so much bigger. I'd just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don't just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.”
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“I loved his vision” for Black Panther, James added, noting that when he was growing up, there were no black superheroes for young children to look up to. "For Ryan to be able to bring that to kids, it’s amazing.”
Not much more information about the film is currently available, however, ESPN NBA reporter Dave McMenamin tweeted on Wednesday "that there have been discussions" about involving original Space Jam star Michael Jordan "in some way."
Other eagle-eyed fans are also speculating on a possible release date Easter egg, noting that the numbers assigned to the lockers in the photo are 1 (Bugs), 23 (James), 20 (Nance) and 21 (Coogler), which, when combined, could potentially be spelling out a Jan. 23, 2021 release.
Like the original, James' Space Jam 2 will likely include cameos and starring roles for some of the NBA's biggest names, however, not every hoops legend is on board for the movie. Charles Barkley, who starred alongside Jordan and other '90s NBA legends in the original, recently told ET that he has no interest in the potential sequel.
“Space Jam 1 was a classic,” Barkley explained at the 2018 NBA Awards back in June. “I don’t like when people try to imitate something that was already good.”