Back in 1996, the internet was still in its infancy (with less than 50 million users worldwide) and the term “email” had only been in use for three years. In the world of sport, Tiger Woods had yet to win his first Major Championship, while basketball legend Michael Jordan had only recently come out of retirement.
The original Space Jam
Michael Jordan led the Bulls to the NBA Championships in 1996, the same year that he starred in the hit movie “Space Jam”. The film told the fictional tale of what Jordan had been doing during his three-year hiatus from the sport and featured many of the Looney Tunes characters including Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
The move was a mix of live-action and animation and was directed by Joe Pykta who was more famous for making music videos for the likes of Michael Jackson. Having cost $80 million to make, Space Jam went on to gross more than $230 million worldwide.
The movie was not a great critical success but the subject matter and far-fetched plot made it popular with younger audiences and NBA fans. It remains a bit of a cult film amongst basketball fans around the world and was a fun showcase for the Looney Tunes world.
The long wait for a sequel
Talks of potential sequels or spin-offs began almost immediately after the first film was released including a spy film starring Jackie Chan, a golf-themed movie featuring Tiger Woods and a “skate Jam” spin-off with Tony Hawk. But no firm plans materialised until 2014 when Space Jam 2 was officially announced.
LeBron James takes the lead
This time, the lead role will be played by NBA superstar LeBron James, who plays as a forward for the LA Lakers, who are currently second-favourites for the 2019/20 Championship in the NBA betting. The three-time NBA champion is one of the most popular and influential sportspersons in American and recently overtook Jordan in the all-time scoring list. His presence alone should ensure that the movie is a smash at the box office. The film will be directed by Malcolm D. Lee, who has been at the helm of numerous comedy films over the last 20 years.
Jordan returns as part of all-star cast
Hollywood star Don Cheadle has also been confirmed along with Star Trek: Discover and Walking Dead star Sonequa Martin-Green, while Michael Jordan will also make an appearance along with everyone’s favourite Looney Tunes characters. Details of the plot have yet to be revealed but is likely to include more bad guys from outer space as well as plenty of whacky on-court basketball action.
Released date set for summer 2021
Filming began on July 2019 and was went into post-production in September. The official release date has been set as July 16, 2021 meaning fans will have a little longer to wait before they can finally set their eyes on the long-awaited sequel.
Garon Cockrell is the Founder and Editor of Pop Culture Beast and host of The Pop Culture Beast Show. He founded the site over seven years ago to have a place on the internet to write about the things he loved. Since then, Garon has become a best-selling author (Demonic and Other Tales), an award winning screenwriter (Best Screenplay 2013 Motor City Nightmares Film Festival), and a cast member on the top rated podcast, Never Not Funny.