After years of rumors and poorly Photoshopped posters, it's now official: LeBron James will star in a "Space Jam" sequel.
The news was confirmed via a Tweet from SpringHill Entertainment – James' production company – which also announced "Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler as a producer on the sequel and HBO sketch show "Random Acts of Flyness" creator Terence Nance as its director. Oh, and Bugs Bunny coming out of animated retirement to co-star yet again.
Considering the original movie was a big hit – $90 million in 1996 money, not including another $140 million overseas – obviously there's excitement over the news finally becoming official.
There's just key important detail to remember: The original "Space Jam" is unfiltered, down-to-its-core garbage – the Charlotte Bobcats of cinema.
Michael Jordan may be one of the greatest basketball players to ever play the game, but he's Greg Oden when it comes to acting or just merely looking happy to be on-screen. The Looney Tunes were rendered into shrill marketing minions shoving their faces so close to the camera that every viewer was basically giving the characters nasal exams, and the whole movie existed wholly to advertise brands. What brands? ALL THE BRANDS. It somehow managed to be everything wrong with modern blockbusters 20 years early.
If you still like "Space Jam," it's probably because the last time you watched it, you were (*holds up fingers*) This Many years old and easily amused by anything that was colorful and moved, putting it on par with a mobile – and at least a mobile doesn't run into your face and loudly cartoon slobber at you.
I'd say "Space Jam" at least gave the world its soundtrack, but it includes sexual offender and cult leader R. Kelly, so I can't even say that in full conscience.
So I guess what I'm saying is that there's room for improvement. And admittedly this crew might just do it. We can debate their on-court greatness, but LeBron James is undeniably a far more engaging screen presence than MJ – see "Trainwreck" or literally any of his postgame press conferences – and after "Fruitvale Station," "Creed" and "Black Panther," I'd follow Coogler just about anywhere (including apparently a "Space Jam" sequel). And though I'd be more excited with Coogler at the helm rather than just producing, Nance's sketch comedy shows a promising eye and sense of humor. Maybe they'll even use the original 1996 movie's Flash website too – which is somehow still up.
Production is expected to begin in 2019 during the NBA offseason, so we won't see the final product for a good while. In the meantime, let's start the campaign for Giannis Antetokounmpo to show up as one of the basketball all-stars who gets his powers sucked away by intergalactic amusement park-running gremlins wanting to win a bet with a cartoon rabbit. (My god, what a dumb movie.)
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.