— SpringHill Ent. (@SpringHillEnt) September 19, 2018
CBS NEWS – There’s a new wrinkle in the LeBron-Jordan debate: Who will be the more beloved Tune Squad star? On Wednesday, James and his production company, SpringHill Entertainment, announced a sequel to 1996’s “Space Jam,” one that boasts an all-star team: Ryan Coogler of “Black Panther” is set to produce the film, James will star and Terence Nance of “Random Acts of Flyness” will serve as director.
It’s James’ first starring role in a film. The Lakers superstar had a well-liked part playing himself in “Trainwreck” opposite Amy Schumer. He told the Hollywood Reporter that he “loved [Coogler’s] vision” for “Black Panther” and believes the director will bring the same magic to “Space Jam.
The original Space Jam wasn’t nominated for any Academy Awards, but it is the highest grossing basketball film of all time. It was a solid kids movie and is fondly remembered by people who saw it when they were kids. I’ll stop to watch a few scenes whenever I see it pop up on cable, and I know I have the Space Jam soundtrack CD somewhere at my parents’ house. Even more than 20 years after its theatrical release, I still see Tune Squad jerseys at college basketball games from time to time.
With Ryan Coogler on board for the reboot, though, the next Space Jam will aspire to be more than just a commercially-viable kids basketball movie. Coogler is on fire right now, and although he’ll be producing rather than directing Space Jam, the last three films he directed were all huge critical successes. Fruitvale Station, Creed and Black Panther are all incredible movies.
Space Jam 2 will also feature LeBron James in his first starring role. James isn’t an actor or a singer, but he’s still one of the biggest stars in the world. He was really likable in Trainwreck and it’s hard to imagine anyone, outside of maybe a few Celtics fans, who will question that he’s the right person for this role. It’d be great to see Michael Jordan come back one way or another and settle the GOAT debate with James, even if just in jest, but there’s probably a better chance of Michael B. Jordan showing up.
It sounds like Space Jam 2 will follow a similar formula as the original, but don’t be surprised if it’s a little less slapstick and aimed at adults as much as it is at kids. At least as much as Bugs Bunny cartoon can be aimed at adults.