LeBron James confirmed at an NBA All-Star event over the weekend that “Space Jam 2,” the remake he will star in and executive produce for his Springhill Entertainment company, is set to begin filming this summer.
LeBron got the kids in Charlotte excited about Space Jam 2, which starts filming this summer pic.twitter.com/qqJwCNy1b8
— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) February 16, 2019
“Black Panther” and “Get Out” director Ryan Coogler will also produce. It is the inspiring message of the blockbuster Oscar nominee “Black Panther” that James told The Hollywood Reporter in September he wants to see in “Space Jam 2.”
“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,” he told the Reporter.
Terence Nance will direct and in a Q&A with Vice writer Taylor Hosking last month he answered questions about if he planned to “shake up” traditional conceptions of masculinity with the new film.
“Pretty sure [it’s] going to disrupt everything,” he told me in the fall of last year. “I’m excited about what […] that movie can be.”
With all that in mind and filming, for lack of a better term, “officially official,” here are five things we want to see in “Space Jam 2,” which is set to film 23 years after the first was released.
1. Zion does the half-court dunk
Technically, this should be James’ smashing scene but we’re allowed to take artistic liberties and change things up. Face it, millennials are most likely to be the ones dragging their children to the theater and we don’t want the same movie scene-for-scene.
Leave it to Duke freshman Zion Williamson, who has performed the one-handed slam before. Envision the 6-foot-8, 285-pound Williamson smashing a shot back in a Monstars face, only to catch the bounce and stretch the court to win a game in a cameo role.
2. James tries something other than baseball
The premise of the first is that Michael Jordan “doesn’t play basketball anymore” after retiring and trying to start a baseball career. We’re all a little exhausted by the two-sport talk of late, so let’s think out of the box.
How about snowboarding with Chloe Kim and Shaun White?
3. ‘The Decision’ & The Team
It’s always good to poke fun at yourself, so this movie needs at least a reference to James taking his talents to South Beach. A game has to be played somewhere, so Cleveland has the opportunity to protest James & Co. taking over their city.
And of course we need a new team of players to have their talents swiped.
There are the obvious options: Stephen Curry suddenly can’t shoot and does this way more often, James Harden is cut off one game short of the all-time longest scoring streak, Anthony Davis asks to join the team and creates chaos. With them gone, Damian Lillard wins the title by staying true to the Portland Trail Blazers.
Meanwhile in the WNBA, things get heated in Phoenix where Diana Taurasi can’t get a smooth 3-pointer past the free throw line and Brittney Griner can’t seem to deny anyone near the paint. Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart lose their championship powers for the Seattle Storm — bonus points if Stewie and Lola “Don’t ever call me doll” Bunny become best friends.
Maya Moore, making her own return to basketball, can co-star with James as a Looney Tunes savior.
4. A killer soundtrack
The 1996 “Space Jam” soundtrack went six-times platinum and the songs are still iconic. You can’t deny the immense nostalgia when the chords of “Fly Like an Eagle” or “I Believe I Can Fly” start ringing.
James and Coogler have the connections for another truly iconic masterpiece of music. Queen Bey and husband (Beyonce and Jay-Z) are part of the superstar player’s circle of friends. Coogler is fresh off a movie with a hit soundtrack as the Kendrick Lamar-produced “Black Panther” spot entered the Billboard 200 at No. 1 last year. The hit “All the Stars” is up for an Oscar.
Nostalgia isn’t always worth it, so at the very least “Space Jam 2” can provide a worthy soundtrack follow.
5. Bill Murray crashes the post-game party
Bill “Woah-ho-ho I don’t play defense” Murray has to be in “Space Jam 2.” Put his face on a custom big face cutout in the crowd if you have to, but Murray has one of the best moments in the original. His iconic image has only grown since then, so as long as he makes a cameo crashing a party we can call this a victory.
BONUS: The stinger scene we’re all waiting for
Imagine: James stands alone on the court, casually shooting hoops. A ball comes from the left of the screen. Swoosh.
Michael Jordan, original “Space Jam” superstar, appears and it’s on. The GOAT argument is to be settled. A one-on-one game begins, only to have Kobe Bryant dunk on them both.
A light shines on Shaq, Charles Barkley — mid-confessional about technicals, trash talking and dating — and the TNT crew sitting courtside, laughing. Dr. J drops down from the ceiling.
“Guys, this argument is stupid. Let’s go have some ice cream.”
~ Scene. ~
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