Everybody get up, it’s time to slam now, cause we got another jam goin’ down. Welcome to the Space Jam… 2. More than two decades after Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes defeated the Monstars, and after years of false starts, we’re finally getting a sequel. What will the new Tune Squad with LeBron James look like and when will we see his team hit the court? Here’s what’s up, doc, with everything we know about Space Jam 2 so far.
Update! LeBron Gets a New “Coach”
LeBron James has a reputation, fair or unfair (FAIR), of getting head coaches fired. When you’re one of a handful of greatest players of all-time, you can do that. That also goes for movie stars and the people in charge of their films, so it’s no surprise Space Jam 2 has a new director. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip, Night School) will take over directing duties from Terence Nance. No word on why the change was made, but we know who will get the “blame” for it, because when you’re a superstar athlete and a movie star you don’t have to play for a coach you don’t like.
An Avenger Assembles
Deadline reports Space Jam 2 has landed itself an Avenger to join the film, as Don Cheadle has signed onto the movie in a still unannounced role. With his vast experience fighting dangerous alien,s he seems like a natural for the Tune Squad.
The Film Pick Ups Some New Players
The Athletic’s NBA insider Shams Charania can now add entertainment reporter to his résumé. He has given us our first lineup of real basketball players who will be joining LeBron James in the film. They include NBA stars Damian Lillard, Klay Thompson, and James’ newest teammate on the Lakers, Anthony Davis. WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and Nneka Ogwumike will also be in the film, with more names from both leagues expected to follow.
Sources: Space Jam 2, starring LeBron James, is expected to feature key roles for Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis and Klay Thompson and WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and Nneka Ogwumike. Several more NBA and WNBA players, including Chiney Ogwumike, are expected to play roles in film.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 20, 2019
Black Panther‘s Ryan Coogler is producing the film, with
Terence Nance (HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness) Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip, Night School) directing. Credited writers include Alfredo Botello, Andrew Dodge, Willie Ebersol, and Justin Lin, who at one time was also signed on to direct and likely contributed to the script during this period.
While the Looney Tunes are returning, the film’s premise is still unknown. We’re unsure if Mr. Swackhammer will return with a new team of Monstars, or if the movie will have a new villain.
Most people know Lebron James as one of the stars of Trainwreck, but what is less known is he also plays in the National Basketball Association, and he’s not half-bad. He’ll be stepping into the lead role that originally belonged to Michael Jordan. Like Jordan was in Space Jam, we expect he won’t be the only current NBA-er in the film.
Star Trek Discovery‘s Sonequa Martin-Green has also signed on to the film. Variety reports she is expected to play James’ wife in the film. O’Shea Jackson Jr. (Straight Outta Compton) is the only other big (human) name currently attached to the film.
Curiously, former NBA player Jared Sullinger is listed in the cast as playing NBA Hall-of-Famer Charles Barkley, who was in the original Spacesp Jam. If this is not an error, it could mean we’ll see flashbacks, or possibly some time traveling shenanigans, which will involve a much younger Barkley.
Either way, that points to the real Barkley returning for the sequel as well, and possibly other NBA stars who also co-starred in the first film—Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Muggsy Bogues, Shawn Bradley, and Larry Johnson—making appearances too. It’s unknown if Wayne Knight and Bill Murray will also return, nor Danny DeVito, who voiced Swackhammer.
And while we know Michael Jordan doesn’t play basketball anymore, the Tune Squad might need a GM.
One major star from the original film who will return is Bugs Bunny, as he was given a locker in the first promo image for the film.
— SpringHill Ent. (@SpringHillEnt) September 19, 2018
Lola Bunny will also return, though she won’t be the only other Looney Tunes character to return to the Tune Squad.
— SpringHill Ent. (@SpringHillEnt) February 22, 2019
Filming and Release
Did LeBron James sign with the Los Angeles Lakers as a free agent last year so he could make more movies, or is Space Jam 2 finally happening because he signed in L.A.? We don’t know, but we do know filming begins this summer, June 17, 2019, the day after the last possible day for the NBA Finals to end. Shooting is expected to wrap up in late August before the NBA pre-season kicks off.
The movie has a release date of July 16, 2021.
Make sure to check back here to find out what’s up with Space Jam 2 as we learn more about the film.
Images: Warner Bros, Universal Pictures, CBS, Marvel