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Bugs Bunny in Space Jam

Everybody, get up! It’s time to take a look at everything we know so far about Space Jam: A New Legacy, the long-awaited follow-up to the beloved 1996 family film. This sequel, once known simply as Space Jam 2, will see NBA star LeBron James share the court with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes.

Despite how common it is for sequels to come decades after their predecessors nowadays, it is still a bit hard to believe that Space Jam: A New Legacy (which announced its official title in late April 2020) is actually happening. After years of development hell, a rotation of directors taking the helm and, of course, the Hollywood-stalling health crisis, it appears that someone up there really wants to see this movie, even if a few down here would rather not… but more on that later.

For now, we shall start with the basics regarding a few of the confirmed reports of what has been going on with the production of Space Jam: A New Legacy. Whoop, here it is…

The scoreboard in Space Jam

Space Jam 2’s Release Date Is Still Set For Summer 2021

A sequel to Space Jam has been a subject of conversation since 1997, but it was not until 2014 when the project really began to take off. And yet, here we are in 2020 with still another year until its scheduled release date in July 2021. Of course, given all the major films in production that have stalled, one would have had to assume that Space Jame: A New Legacy would suffer a further delay. However, as a guest on the Road Trippin' Podcast in March, star LeBron James gave fans hope with an optimistic update on the movie's progress in the wake of the pandemic, stating the following:

Space Jam has always been scheduled to come out in June of 2021. So we're kind of [OK]. And a lot of it right now is animation, so being indoors is actually great for us. So we’re still on. Just like everything in the world, everything is slowed down a little bit, but we’re still on target. I’m looking forward to it. During this time right now, I wish we could release it right now, man, and give people some things to watch in their households. But we got until next year, next summer. We’re excited about it.

LeBron presumably misspoke when he said June, as Space Jam: A New Legacy is scheduled for July 16, 2021. Still, his comment bodes well for the movie arriving on time.

Lebron James in Trainwreck

LeBron James Will Lead Space Jam 2, Along With An MCU Vet And More

It may be old news that LeBron James is filling Michael Jordan's shoes in Space Jam: A New Legacy, but the casting of the LA Lakers small forward's live action co-stars has brought exciting developments. It was revealed in May 2019 that Star Trek Discovery and The Walking Dead star Sonequa Martin-Green joined the cast to play James' wife, followed by reports soon after that Don Cheadle, Oscar-nominee and Marvel's War Machine, would possibly, play the villain (but not by his testimony). Also, as it is tradition, several members of the NBA and WNBA will appear as themselves, including Anthony Davis and Diana Taurasi, to name a few.

Michael Jordan in Space Jam

Michael Jordan Had A Different NBA Star In Mind To Lead Space Jam 2

It is understandable why Michael Jordan will not reprise his role (as himself) from Space Jam, but that did not stop one young, curious fan from trying to get his opinion of the sequel's star. As a video to posted to Instagram in 2016 reveals, the NBA retiree was visiting what appeared to be a basketball summer camp, where one attendee asked who he believed should play the lead Space Jam 2. Jordan replied with current Detroit Pistons member Blake Griffin as his answer, inciting a resounding applause.

Charles Barkley in Space Jam

Charles Barkley Is Not Too Hip To The Idea Of A Space Jam Sequel

While Michael Jordan does not sound against the idea of Space Jam 2, another NBA legend and star of the original film has voiced his displeasure. Charles Barkley, who played himself in Space Jam as one of several basketball players whose athletic talent is stolen by the "Monstars," was asked in June 2019 to comment previous statements of his criticizing the upcoming sequel, asking if he had changed his opinion. He had this to say:

Not at all. Well, listen, I don’t care. Space Jam 1 was amazing. We don’t need 2. Space Jam 1 was a classic. I don’t like when people try to imitate something that was already good.

I guess we shouldn't count on Charles Barkley buying a ticket to the sequel then.

Tweety Bird and Sylvester the Cat in Space Jam

Ryan Coogler Signed On As Producer Of Space Jam: A New Legacy

If anybody who shared the opinion of Charles Barkley and needed some reassurance that Space Jam: A New Legacy might have a chance to live up to the hype, how does the director of a recent Best Picture Oscar nominee getting involved sound? Indeed, Ryan Coogler, helmer of Fruitvale Station, Creed and widely acclaimed blockbuster Black Panther, signed on as a producer, as well as a co-writer, of the sequel. The news came out of an exclusive report from THR in September 2018 that also revealed the film's director, who would not be the first or last person to be named in that position.

One of the Monstars from Space Jam

Malcolm D. Lee Will Direct Space Jam: A New Legacy

In July 2019, Malcolm D. Lee, director of Undercover Brother, Girls Trip, and The Best Man franchise, was named the director of Space Jam: A New Legacy. He's the third person to be given the job since the project was officially greenlit. In 2017, future F9 director Justin Lin was announced at the helm, only to be replaced by Terrence Nance a year later. However, due to creative differences, the Random Acts of Flyness creator left amicably with the production, paving the way for Lee to take the reins.

Bugs Bunny and Lola Bunny in Space Jam

A Disney Animation Veteran Is Working on Space Jam: A New Legacy

As previously mentioned, production of Space Jam: A New Legacy was not terribly affected by the health crisis, with star LeBron James assuring that the film, which wrapped principal photography in September 2019, primarily had the animated portions left to handle. Previous to that fortunate news, fans were [blessed with an update](https://www.cinemablend.com/news/2492742/space-jam-2-seems-to-be-moving-forward-has-disney-royalty-working-on-its-animation?pv=search) on the film's progress from one of its animators, Tony Bancroft. If you do not recognize the name, you will certainly recognize his work as an animator for Disney, which includes creating characters for Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and Aladdin, as well as directing 1998's Mulan.

To stay updated on the much anticipated, upcoming Space Jam sequel, be sure to check back for more ongoing information here on CinemaBlend.

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