|Space Jam 2|
|Directed by||Malcolm D. Lee[a]|
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Edited by||Zene Baker|
|Distributed by||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Space Jam 2 is an upcoming 2021 American live-action/animated sports comedy film and a direct sequel to Space Jam (1996). The film is directed by Malcolm D. Lee and stars basketball player LeBron James, as well as Don Cheadle and Sonequa Martin-Green. James also acts as a producer alongside Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the script with Sev Ohanian.
Talks for a Space Jam sequel began after the release of the first film, but eventually fell through. Several possible spin-offs, focusing on other athletes, including Jeff Gordon, Tiger Woods and Tony Hawk, were also discussed, but never came to fruition. A LeBron James-led sequel was officially announced in 2014, and after several years of languishing, filming began under Terence Nance in June 2019 around Los Angeles. After a few weeks into filiming, Nance left the project and Lee was hired to replace him in July 2019.
Space Jam 2 is set to be released on July 16, 2021, by Warner Bros. Pictures.
- LeBron James as himself
- Don Cheadle
- Sonequa Martin-Green as Savannah James
- Ceyair Wright as LeBron "Bronny" James Jr.
A sequel to Space Jam was planned as early as 1997. As development began, Space Jam 2 was going to involve a new basketball competition between the Looney Tunes and a new villain named Berserk-O!, who banishes the Looney Tunes to Earth. Artist Bob Camp was tasked with designing Berserk-O! and his henchmen. Joe Pytka would have returned to direct and Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone signed on as the animation supervisors. However, Michael Jordan did not agree to star in a sequel. According to Camp, a producer lied to design artists by claiming that Jordan had signed on in order to keep development going. Warner Bros. eventually canceled plans for Space Jam 2.
The potential sequel reentered development as Spy Jam and was to star Jackie Chan in a different script. The studio was also planning a film titled Race Jam which would have starred Jeff Gordon. Additionally, Pytka revealed that following the first film's success, he had been pitched a story for a sequel that would have starred professional golfer Tiger Woods, with Jordan in a smaller role. Pytka explained how the idea came from an out of studio script conference, with people who worked on the original film allegedly involved. Producer Ivan Reitman was reportedly in favor of a film which would again star Jordan. The follow-up films were ultimately cancelled in favor of Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003). A film titled Skate Jam was in early development with Tony Hawk in the starring role. Plans were underway for production to begin immediately following the release of Looney Tunes: Back in Action, but was cancelled given the poor financial reception to said film despite improved critical reception.
In February 2014, Warner Bros. officially announced development of a sequel that will star LeBron James. Charlie Ebersol was set to produce, while Willie Ebersol wrote the script. By May of the same year, James was quoted as saying, "I've always loved Space Jam. It was one of my favorite movies growing up. If I have the opportunity, it will be great." In July 2015, James and his film studio, SpringHill Entertainment, signed a deal with Warner Bros. for television, film and digital content after receiving positive reviews for his role in Trainwreck. By 2016, Justin Lin signed onto the project as director, and co-screenwriter with Andrew Dodge and Alfredo Botello. In November 2016, a teaser trailer in the form of a Nike advertisement, was released on Twitter under #MonstarsBack. Later in December, Bugs Bunny and the Monstars appeared in a Foot Locker commercial starring Blake Griffin and Jimmy Butler. By August 2018, Lin left the project, and Terence Nance was hired to direct the film. In September 2018, Ryan Coogler was announced as a producer for the film. SpringHill Entertainment released a promotional teaser image officially announcing the film, with production set to begin in 2019 during the NBA off-season. Filming will take place in California and will shoot within a 30 mile radius of Los Angeles. Prior to production, the film received $21.8 million in tax credits as a result of a new tax incentive program from the state.
Principal photography began on June 25, 2019. On July 16, 2019, it was announced Nance was leaving the project because he and "the studio/producers had different takes on the creative vision for Space Jam 2", and that Malcolm D. Lee would serve as his replacement.
Among locations used for filming included the Sheats–Goldstein Residence owned by James Goldstein, including turning its tennis court temporarily into a basketball court for the shooting. Production wrapped on September 14, 2019.
Space Jam 2 is scheduled to be released on July 16, 2021.
- Terence Nance, the original director of the film, left during production because of creative differences, with Lee taking his place.
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