Last month, Warner Brothers filed to renew its trademarks for Space Jam, the sensational 1996 sports comedy cum space opera that introduced Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan to a generation too young to remember the Looney Tunes and the 1991 Chicago Bulls.
In other words, we can expect a sequel. This isn’t exactly breaking news: last February, Deadline reported that television producer Charlie Ebersol would be directing the forthcoming Space Jam 2, with Lebron James as the lead — a claim that James’ representatives quickly denied.
But, on Wednesday, Warner Brothers announced that it was embarking on an “unprecedented” creative partnership with the basketball player, “spanning all areas of content creation.” The official statement is vague when it comes to exact plans, but it does say that James’ “creative footprint” would “touch all areas” of the studio.
There is no official word that he will star in the Space Jam sequel — or that the Space Jam sequel is even going to happen — but the circumstantial evidence is abundant. Even after his people denounced Deadline’s report last year, James coyly hinted at the possibility.
“I’ve always loved Space Jam,” he told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “It was one of my favorite movies growing up. If I have the opportunity, it will be great.”
Speaking purely from a creative standpoint, it’s easy to envision the film. Space Jam‘s storyline tinkered with Jordan’s own controversial narrative — namely his cocksure decision to briefly abandon the Chicago Bulls in the early 1990s for an embarrassing stint in pro baseball — and James’ story is just as compelling. Four years ago, ABC wondered aloud if he was “the most hated man in basketball” after he scandalously ditched the Cleveland Cavaliers to play for the Miami Heat. I’m sure Bugs Bunny can factor into that somehow.
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