Space Jam is such basketball nostalgia that I believe they should put the film in the Naismith Hall of Fame. As a kid, you can’t get much better than Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny playing shooty hoops. Now some years later, Jordan is followed by an heir apparent in LeBron James to lead the Toon Squad. The stakes remain high as usual. Despite what’s on the line, the fun to come is highly anticipated.
HBO Max released a promotional video via Twitter on Saturday. Within the snippet, they shared a still of the remade classic for our viewing pleasures:
This year, the biggest Warner Bros. premieres are coming to theaters and streaming on HBO Max the exact same day. What movie are you most excited for? 🍿 https://t.co/6Ny7n8JUGk pic.twitter.com/UEMmDlMIy6
— HBO Max (@hbomax) January 16, 2021
While skeptical, I can’t lie – I went a tad bit fanboy at the little bit that I got to see. I am not always keen on remakes, but I feel you can’t miss with this kind of movie. The league has changed so much since the days of Jordan and company. Athletes are more dynamic and athletic. This probably gives a boost to the nefarious bunch that is likely to challenge LeBron and the Looney Tunes. Filmmaking, in general, has advanced too. We have watched studios acquire budgets to bring in top-notch actors like Sonequa Martin-Green and Don Cheadle. I expect this to raise LeBron’s game on set.
We haven’t even talked about the NBA and WNBA star power joining the cast. The Athletic’s Shams Charania revealed the list in 2019:
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
If these are the new Monstars – I absolutely love it! It’s a collection of talents that’s truly cartoonish.
I feel like this remake will work seamlessly. Historically speaking, films of this ilk have made their predecessors proud. The most recent sports remakes include The Longest Yard and the extended Rocky universe with Creed. Both were significant winners at the box office. Space Jam: A New Legacy will be much less of a drama and more family-friendly. I can bet that it’s also going to blow the doors off the box office.
As usual, you get everyone that still debates Jordan and LeBron tirelessly. Honestly, this film doesn’t make these conversations easier. Rather than go in with a pen and pad comparing both guys, I’ll be watching with an open mind. I want to see LeBron loosen up and entertain us. That was part of the appeal of the original. We have never seen Michael Jordan give us much outside of competitive fire. To see him as a superhero was fun. James gets the opportunity to do the same thing.
What you can’t forget about him is that he has the acting chops. His role in Trainwreck went about as well as a debut can go. I expect a hilariously similar performance:
The release is scheduled for July 16, 2021. Until then, I will countdown the days and hope the Lakers can go back to back. Like Jordan’s retirement, back to back championships add more mystique to the film’s anticipation. I can barely contain my excitement and curiosity. I know that you can’t either.