It’s been 25 years since basketball player Michael Jordan stepped off the court and into his own movie in ‘Space Jam’.
Now, the baton – or basketball – has been passed on to LeBron James, who like Jordan, enters the world of the Loony Tunes, where cartoon icons Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck reside.
‘Space Jam, A New Legacy’ launched at LA Live in downtown Los Angeles, where James spoke to reporters about filling Jordan’s sneakers.
He said “Listen, I was extremely nervous to even redo this film – not saying it’s a remake, it’s a totally different ride with ‘A New Legacy’ but you know, just knowing how great the first one was. But I put my heart into it, I put my looniness into it obviously with the Toons and committed to it. I’m excited for what people are actually going to see.”
The purple carpet was filled with celebrities, from Zendaya, who voices Lola Bunny, and Don Cheadle, who plays villain AI G. Rhythm, to John Legend and G-Eazy, who have tracks on the film’s score. There were also basketball stars Klay Thompson and Anthony Davis.
The sequel is more family orientated than the original. The plot sees James try to rescue his son Dom (Cedric Joe) by winning a basketball game with Bugs Bunny (voiced by Jeff Bergman).
When asked what mothers will get from the film, James replied “My mother’s a single parent, I come from an only child single parent household so I understand how powerful Black women are, I understand everything she sacrificed for me to be who I am today, so it’s always important for me, anytime I’m doing anything that the world gets the opportunity to see, that I highlight that and you’re going to see this movie and it’s a point that’s highlighted in this film.”
The film is directed by Malcom D. Lee and co-stars Sonequa Martin-Green as James’ wife.
When asked how the film differed from the original Martin-Green said “I grew up on that film and I think that film was very important and necessary for that time and so I’m hoping that this film does the same thing. I hope that it’s necessary for this time, I hope people deem it necessary and I hope it brings people together because I think it has everything it needs to be a new classic.”
James added “I hope I continue to make Michael proud. He’s someone I looked up to as a kid and hopefully this is another step in that direction but I’m happy to be a part of the Looney Tunes. They’re the greatest group I’ve ever been around, the funniest group and the looniest group and we’re going to bring the film to a lot of people’s homes and a lot of theatres and make a lot of people smile and a lot of people happy.”
‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ goes on release in cinemas and streams on HBO Max from July 16.