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Update, Feb. 22: According to The Bleacher Report, LeBron James is not attached to star in a sequel to Space Jam. ESPN’s Michael Wallace posted on Twitter that “LeBron says reports of him being targeted for SpaceJam2 ‘is news to me’ but he also sounds open to idea of project.”
In potentially the most unexpected Hollywood news of the week, Deadline reports that a Space Jam sequel is in development at Warner Bros., with the Miami Heat’s LeBron James in place to star.
While no plot details have been released yet, the Space Jam formula is pretty straightforward — live-action/animated basketball-themed hijinx featuring an NBA superstar and the Looney Tunes crew. The script is from Willie Ebersol and the film will be produced by his brother, Charlie — sons of Dick Ebersol, the former chairman of NBC Sports.
The first Space Jam, released in 1996, starred Michael Jordan, was produced by Ivan Reitman and directed by Joe Pytka. The film grossed $230 million worldwide and stands as a uniquely memorable cultural touchstone for children of the ’90s. The plot saw MJ lead a team of Looney Tunes including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the debuting Lola Bunny in a high-stakes game of hoops against nefarious aliens the Monstars, who stole their ball-playing skills from various NBA stars of the era. Plus, the soundtrack gave the world “I Believe I Can Fly” by R. Kelly.
In 2012, Warner Bros. teamed with another NBA All-Star — Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant — for the kids’ film Thunderstruck. However the Space Jam sequel ends up taking shape, let’s hope it doesn’t disturb the surprisingly still extant website for the original — a true relic of a bygone Internet era.