If you can believe it, Warner Bros has been trying to make a Space Jam 2 ever since the moment they turned the projectors off for Space Jam 1. It’s just taken 25 years to get a script everyone was satisfied with and a star everyone thought could fill Jordan’s Jordans. Was it worth all that time and effort? We’ll find out very soon…
WB’s first notion back in late ’96 was to sign up Mike again, but he refused. They had no idea what to fill that hole with and flirted with several ideas, some of which weren’t even basketball related. NASCAR racer Jeff Gordon was tied to one version and Jackie Chan was assigned to another. (“Why not both?” to bring up an aging meme.)
Ultimately, they settled on LeBron James in Space Jam: A New Legacy, coming straight to theaters and HBO Max this July. And here’s what it looks like…
The most interesting revelation here is this: we’re getting a 2D Bugs after all. The plot is that LeBron canâ€™t relate to his tech wizard son, who spends his time programming computer games. Dom is so good at his craft that he attracts the attention of a malevolent AI named Al G Rhythm (Don Cheadle), who sucks Dom into the universe of his private server to enslave him.
LeBron ends up getting sucked into the same cyberverse, where he lands on the Looney Tunes Server Planet and meets Bugs and company. This is where LeBron himself becomes a 2D character to match Bugs, and it’s nice to see again in a movie intended for the big screen, even if the scene seems to lack the finesse of the 1996 animation.
Once they enter the ball court, they’re transferred into 3D, which includes the Looney Tunes. The general area is a Warner Bros server so the audience in the stands is entirely made up of WB-owned characters, like the Hanna-Barbera cast, the Iron Giant, and King Kong (hey, I think I just saw that guy somewhere).
Once again, the only way to save the day is to win at basketball, but the opposing Goon Squad is ridiculously overskilled. Can LeBron reconnect with his kid and save the day? Space Jam: A New Legacy opens in theaters and HBO Max July 16.