What do the NBA and Hollywood have in common (other than highly paid celebrities, millions of adoring fans, being a beloved form of entertainment, etc.)? Okay, so maybe quite a bit, but the most important commonality would have to be... Space Jam! Marking the film's 20th anniversary this year, there will be a live reading of the script during the 65th annual NBA All-Star Weekend. For both basketball and Looney Tunes fans alike, this is a monumental celebration. Rumors of a sequel have been circulating for years, but will it finally be time that we get to see these wacky characters back in action (pun!) on the big screen/basketball court? Here are a few possible ways to approach the sequel!
The talent in the NBA these days is unprecedented! While Michael Jordan was a clear standout in his prime, there are now a handful of phenomenal players that could each be considered the greatest basketball player of all time. This would make picking a legendary NBA star to join the Looney Tunes on the court relatively easy. On top of that, a number of these All-Stars have notable onscreen personalities, starring in a series of popular commercials and also have had a few big screen cameos. So, let's breakdown the likely candidates.
#1 - LeBron James
Having previously been attached to the property, the most likely choice to lead the film would be the king himself, LeBron James! Maybe the most dominate force in basketball in the last 10 years, LeBron definitely fits the standard of talent. He also has some acting chops, with a hilarious role in last year's Trainwreck, starring in Nike commercials with multiple roles, and is also one of the only NBA players to ever host SNL. This is almost a sure thing (he has even signed a content-creation partnership with WB), but after a few years of speculation there has still been no official announcement.
#2 - Blake Griffin
Next up is the high-flying dunk extraordinaire, Blake Griffin! Back in 2014, Blake did a live reading of Space Jam at the UCB theater with a number of other talented celebrities and had expressed an interest in starring in a Space Jam sequel. Also, earlier last year, he was in a commercial where he had a dunk competition against Marvin the Martian which was coproduced by Nike and WB. He has yet to prove himself as potentially the greatest basketball player of all time, but his career is still relatively young. He also lives right next door to Hollywood, so it would probably be pretty easy to schedule a few days at the studio.
#3 - Steph Curry
Stephen Curry has never been attached to the project, has had limited film experience, but there is definitely an argument to be made for the greatest player in NBA history. His father, Dell Curry, was quite the personality for the league, so Steph grew up joining him at press conferences and even starred in a Burger King commercial when he was only 5 years old. He has since grown up to gain a number of other endorsements, flexing his acting ability in commercials for State Farm, Foot Locker, Under Armour, and the NBA itself. Known for his quick decision making and near flawless shooting, his skills would be a little different than the typical Space Jam dunking criteria, but using him would change the game (literally). If they went with Curry it might make more sense to call it Space Juke, but he is currently my top choice for the role.
Hands in if you are dying to see a Space Jam sequel! Who should star in the film? Well, why not all of them? I know the studio would feel obligated to stick to one and follow the original format (probably due to budgetary reasons), but they could go in all new direction and try to recruit a complete All-Star team (I know I would like a Shaq cameo). I did think it would be hilarious if the Looney Tunes kept comparing LeBron to MJ throughout the film, but any of these candidates are certainly fit for the role. With WB recently renewing copyrights to the Space Jam franchise, and celebrating the 20th anniversary, its almost a guarantee that the announcement is on the way!