LeBron James has announced that his production company, SpringHill Entertainment, is working on Space Jam 2 and has brought on Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to oversee the project.
SpringHill Entertainment, James and business partner Maverick Carter’s company, announced the news by tweeting out a cartoon image of a changing room with lockers for James, Bugs Bunny, Coogler and Terence Nance, who will direct the film. Coogler will act as the producer.
According to ESPN, James and Carter have been in talks to make a new Space Jam film for more than five years. SpringHill signed an agreement with Warner Brothers, which owns the Space Jam rights, in 2015.
James, who has previously praised Coogler for his work on Black Panther, a Marvel blockbuster featuring a primarily black cast and a black superhero, was personally involved in the producer’s recruitment.
Apparently the new movie will not be a sequel to the original 1996 film, which starred Michael Jordan, as well as several other National Basketball Association (NBA) stars alongside the Looney Toons cast and grossed US$375 million worldwide – more than double any other basketball movie.
“I loved his vision,” James told The Hollywood Reporter of Coogler. “So for Ryan to be able to bring that to kids, it’s amazing.”
“The ‘Space Jam’ collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” he continued. “It’s so much bigger. I’d just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don’t just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.”
Filming is expected to start during the 2019 NBA off-season, and there are rumours Jordan could be involved