'Space Jam 2' Starring LeBron James Is Probably Happening, So Here Are 8 Reasons To Start Getting Excited
Among the great classics of American cinema history are films like Citizen Kane, Casablanca, The Godfather, and Space Jam . Yes, I'm talking about the 1996 half live action/half animated kids movie starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. If you grew up in the '90s, it's undoubtedly one of the touchstones of your childhood. (And if it's not, then who even are you?) Whether you still watch it obsessively every day or you haven't seen it in years, you likely have some feelings about the fact that Warner Bros. is planning on making a sequel 18 years after the original — and none other than LeBron James will be starring in Space Jam 2 .
Back in February of 2014, Deadline broke the news that Warner Bros. was working on a sequel scripted by Charlie Ebersol, and was courting the Cavaliers' small forward to headline. But in the year-plus since then, there had been no news, and '90s babies everywhere were left to wonder whether the project was still happening, was languishing in development hell, or was only ever a pipe dream to begin with. Well, I've got good news for you! This Wednesday, Warner Bros. signed a development deal with James. And an eagle-eyed Twitter sleuth noticed that, just last month, the movie studio filed new trademarks for Space Jam . 1 + 1 = 2, and Warner Bros. + LeBron = Space Jam 2.
While some may be skeptical about the idea of a sequel to this beloved film, remember that 2015 has been the year of the unexpected (and unexpectedly awesome) franchise revival. Jurassic World and Mad Max: Fury Road both successfully reawakened their respective franchises from hibernation with box-office shattering results, and Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens is poised to do the same this Christmas.
So here are eight very good reasons to get excited about Space Jam 2:
The basketball star is currently getting rave reviews for his comedic performance in Amy Schumer's Trainwreck . In the film, he plays a fictionalized version of himself who's just as obsessed with the Dowager Countess of Grantham as the rest of us non-professional sports players. The man has proved he's just as adept on the screen as he is on the court, and it's easy to imagine him carrying the Space Jam franchise to box office success just as easily as Michael Jordan before him.
2. "I Believe I Can Fly"
Just like Glee resurrected the cultural awareness of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" six years ago (and then ran it into the ground), Space Jam 2 should do the same for R. Kelly's classic earworm. When was the last time you actually watched this music video? Seriously, watch it again right now — it's magnificent. Aside from the inevitable reprise of this tune, Space Jam 2 should have a soundtrack that's just as awesome as the first. (Never has there been a more impressive confluence of talent on one CD outside of the Now That's What I Call Music! series.) Warner Bros. should recruit Seal, Salt-N-Pepa, Busta Rhymes, Jay Z and more to lay down new tracks for round two.
3. The Animation
What happened to movies that combined animation and live action? They were all the rage back in the '80s and '90s (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, The Pagemaster, James And The Giant Peach), but they've since fallen out of fashion for some unfathomable reason. (The Lego Movie came close last year with its eleventh-hour plot twist.) It's time to bring this delightfully wacky sub-genre back to the forefront. Plus, a return to classic, hand-drawn Looney Tune animation will feel refreshing after all the computer-animated movies in cinemas these days.
4. Bill Murray
The 64-year-old funnyman has never exactly gone out of style, but he's currently riding something of a career high thanks to roles in such critically-acclaimed projects as The Grand Budapest Hotel, St. Vincent, and Olive Kitteridge. (Not to mention his hilarious cameo in Zombieland.) It's the perfect time for Murray to reprise his cameo (as himself!) in Space Jam 2. While we're at it, Warner Bros. better bring back the original's other great supporting players like Wayne Knight, Larry Bird, and Danny DeVito as the voice of the villainous Mr. Swackhammer.
5. Bill Murray In This Hat
If Murray comes back, then his fabulous umbrella hat must, too. This is not negotiable.
6. The Monstars
Is there a cooler group of animated henchmen out there than The Monstars? They start the film as a group of pipsqueaks called the Nerdlucks, and then transform in hulking behemoths thanks to a magical, talent-stealing basketball. The film ended with them ending on amiable terms with the Tunes, so the sequel should repurpose the Nerdlucks as comedic sidekicks.
7. The Pop Culture References
If you're in the camp of people who haven't watched Space Jam in years, I guarantee there are tons of clever pop culture references that totally went over your head as a child. There's the above Pulp Fiction homage, there's the Tunes working out to Richard Simmons, there's Bill Murray being mistaken for Dan Aykroyd, and so much more.
8. The Website
The Space Jam website is such a classic piece of '90s nostalgia that Warner Bros. hasn't updated it once in 18 years. My one condition for the sequel is that they leave this archaic gem untouched.
And now, relive your childhood by watching the trailer for the original Space Jam:
Images: Giphy.com (6)