LeBron James’ Space Jam 2 is slated to release in 2021.
James confirmed during NBA All Star Weekend that he and his SpringHill Entertainment would begin filming the project this summer.
In September it was announced that Black Panther director Ryan Coogler signed on to produce the Space Jam sequel. Terence Nance will be directing the film, in which James is set to star.
WNBA royalty is also expected to be in the film.
Insert: Diana Taurasi, Nneka Ogwumike, and Chiney Ogwumike who are slated to make cameo appearances.
LeBron James will be in the film and he’ll also have some reinforcements like Don Cheadle, Sonequa Martin-Green, Ceyair Wright, Jon Bauman and Steve Harvey.
One person who will NOT be in the film will be NBA Hall of Famer, Charles Barkley.
When I asked him if he wanted to be, he replied: “I do not.”
It’s okay though because Barkley was in the original Space Jam and he was brilliant.
The current TNT analyst played alongside Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, Daffy Duck and names in sports and Hollywood like Patrick Ewing, Muggsy Bogues, Bill Murray, Danny Devito Shawn Bradley and Larry Bird.
Barkley tells me that the set was amazing and that the aura of Michael Jordan was THE coming attraction and that says he had a lot of fun with his NBA peers while on set. “I remember how powerful Michael Jordan was,” Charles Barkley told me.
“They built him a stadium that held 5,000 people so he can workout overnights, scrimmage everyday.”
That’s kind of a big deal. The workouts that took place at Jordan’s makeshift Space Jam workout headquarters is legendary.
For those keeping score at home: Space Jam was MJ’s first big screen starring role and the film used‘new’ green screen technology. Jordan had accepted his first big screen starring role on the animated film Space Jam, using ‘new’ green screen technology.
MJ started filming Space Jam after the Bulls lost to the Shaquille O’Neal, Horace Grant, Penny Hardaway-led Orlando Magic in the 1995 NBA Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Orlando would go on to make it the NBA Finals where they’d eventually lose to the Hakeem Olajuwon, Clyde Drexler, Robert Horry, Kenny Smith dominant Houston Rockets.
Jordan had returned to the NBA court after a year and a half retirement from basketball in which he played minor league baseball for the Birmingham Barons. Warner Bros. create an unprecedented for the time – state of the art, on-set training headquarters for MJ to prepare for the eventual next three-peat that the Bulls won from 1996-1998.
“They gave him a gym,” laughed Charles Barkley.
“They would say: ‘we want you to do this movie, but we need you to be in LA for months. Like I needed to train but to be at that gym with the amazing power of that guy is what I remember a lot.”
Jordan’s Space Jam dome was air-conditioned, included locker rooms, a barbershop, showers, a living room and top-notch training equipment and he didn’t have to leave the studio to do anything.
Many celebrities popped in and out of the facility to visit.
Pickup games were also legendary.
Meanwhile back at the ranch: LeBron James taped Space Jam 2 in the same fashion.
The Lakers didn’t make the Playoffs last season and James went to work in taping the film.
“He had a lot of stuff going on in the summer with Space Jam,” Anthony Davis, James’ Lakers teammate told me last week.
“So we didn’t get a lot of time to work out together. And then we had a short training camp, had to go to China and all of that stuff. So, I’m surprised that he had a little connection right now.”He [LeBron James] made a joke [and said]: ‘We’re not peanut butter and jelly right now, we’re like peanut butter and bananas.’ So we’re getting there. We’re constantly getting there game by game.”
Space Jam 2 will be exciting. In June 2018, I reported via Basketball Society reported that LeBron James would announce his decision to join the Los Angeles Lakers via free agency utilizing his Uninterrupted platform, Instagram TV and a Space Jam 2.
It was cancelled.
The plot for the trailer, I’m told was surrounded sports memorabilia stolen by characters in the film.
I discussed it on ESPN Radio here wish Dashawn Hendricks and Josh Hennig.