Roughly 20 years ago, the world saw NBA legend Michael Jordan play alongside the Looney Tunes in the basketball games to end all basketball games. This movie was Space Jam (1996) and despite it not being a cinematic masterpiece, it grossed more than $200 million at the box office and has recently gained a newfound popularity thanks to the internet, memes and countless remixes of its catchy theme song.
Thanks to Space Jam's surprising resurgence in the public conscience, Warner Brothers felt that it was time for Space Jam 2 to finally happen, two decades after the Tune Squad beat the Monstars by drinking Michael Jordan's "Secret Stuff."
The New Team
When Space Jam was released, it was made in the height of Michael Jordan's popularity but now that the legendary baller has been enjoying retirement for the past few decades, Warner Brothers is looking to this generation's biggest name in basketball to lead today's Tune Squad -Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Lebron James' banner SpringHill Enterainment has signed a deal with Warner Brothers in their ambitions to create a Hollywood empire, and the two companies have confirmed that one of their first major collaborations is Space Jam 2. When the sequel finally gets into production, this will be Lebron James' second cinematic appearance but the first time he gets the leading role. He was last seen in the comedy Trainwreck (2015) where audiences thought he stole the show in his role as a selfless and friendly parody of himself.
Aside from Lebron James, another big name attached to the project is director Justin Lin of Fast and Furious and Stark Trek: Beyond (2016) fame, who has been in negotiations with Warner Brothers to direct the movie since May. Despite being the sequel to a product of its time, Warner Brothers is taking Space Jam 2 seriously and the fact that they're courting one of the biggest names in today's action movie scene shows that they mean business.
Outside of a script currently being written by comedy talents Andrew Dodge (Bad Words) and Alfredo Botello, there has been no other information on Space Jam 2's progress or lack thereof. All that is known is that both Warner Brothers and SpringHill Entertainment are determined to make the Space Jam sequel a reality.
Michael Jordan's Choice
The original Tune Squad captain Michael Jordan himself just revealed who he would choose to lead the animated basketball team, and it's not Lebron James. In a recent interview, Michael Jordan said that if it were up to him, Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin would take up his mantle as the lead of Space Jam 2.
Similar to Lebron James, Blake Griffin has also done a bit of acting as seen in his guest appearance in the sitcom Broad City but unlike the Cleveland superstar, Blake has the advantage of having experience in stand-up comedy. As an added bonus, Blake Griffin is currently in talks with Fox and Imagine TV for an animated series that casts him as simple country kid whose basketball dreams lead him to a strange new life in the big city.
He also surprised fans by revealing himself to be a fan of the 1996 original. During a live-reading of Space Jam back in April, Blake Griffin filled in the shoes of Michael Jordan as the lead character while his teammate DeAndre Jordan took care of the lines first said by Charles Barkley.
Since Warner Brothers is hoping to bank on Lebron James' popularity, it seems unlikely that Blake Griffin will get to lead Space Jam 2 despite getting Michael Jordan's blessing but even if that's the case, it will still be interesting to see where Warner Brothers will go with their proposed sequel that's fueled by nostalgia and memes.