NBA Rumor: Space Jam Movie

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Critics rebuffed “Space Jam: A New Legacy” (it holds a bleak 31% average on Rotten Tomatoes), but audiences appeared to embrace the movie, awarding it an “A-” CinemaScore. “Space Jam 2” played in 3,965 cinemas in North America, while being available on HBO Max at no extra charge to subscribers. “The marketing on this movie really looked fun, and it helped alert audiences everywhere,” said Jeff Goldstein, Warner Bros. president of domestic distribution.

The follow-up film cost $150 million to make, which means the latest “Space Jam” needs to sell tickets, and a lot of them, to turn a profit. However, in the case of Warner Bros., box office ticket sales aren’t its only metric of success. The studio’s parent company WarnerMedia is hoping that putting “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” and the rest of its 2021 slate, simultaneously on streaming and in theaters will incentivize people to sign up for a subscription to HBO Max.

This was probably an inevitability, now that we think about it: earlier today, Epic Games announced to the world that LeBron James’ arrival to the world of Fortnite is imminent. Beginning July 14, players will be able to download multiple King James skins, along with a number of additional accessories to use in-game. Item Shop options include a Taco Tuesday outfit variant, James’ Tune Squad jersey from his upcoming role in Space Jam: A New Legacy, as well as a “King’s Back Bling” option. Each skin also comes with a pair of LeBron’s upcoming signature shoe line, the Nike LeBron 19.

From a content perspective, it’s SpringHill’s biggest project yet. The film is a platform for several brand partnerships too. Here are the biggest ones: Microsoft Xbox: Microsoft released three exclusive Space Jam controllers and a new video game. Nike and Converse: an apparel collection featuring new sneakers, the LeBron 19s, LeBron 18 Lows, Air Force 1s in toddler sizes, and Chuck Taylors. McDonald’s: SpringHill got Space Jam toys in Happy Meals—a place that’s been held on lock by Disney and Marvel characters Fortnite: LeBron now has a Space Jam-themed skin in Fortnite Nifty: free Space Jam-inspired NFTs for up to 91,000 guests

“I literally got a movie that dropped today,” James said. “Space Jam: A New Legacy, oh my goodness. It finally just hit me, I can’t believe it. I’m so honored, I’m so humbled, this is crazy. It doesn’t make sense to me, but I’ve got so much energy today, I hope everybody goes out, check it out at the movie theaters, HBO Max. Wherever it’s around you, please check it out, I promise you won’t be disappointed.”

In 2015, James starred in the Amy Schumer-led comedy “Trainwreck,” which hardly describes how James’ basketball peers viewed his thespian skills in his latest flick. Instead, James’ latest accomplishment might add another wrinkle to the endless comparisons to Jordan. “For him to come and take a role like this and basically do the sequel of the famous Michael Jordan movie, I thought that was pretty cool,” Lillard said. “We’re hearing him saying that he got a gym set up and that he’s training every morning, early in the morning. By the time we got there, sometimes he was already rolling.”

This time, neither Lillard nor Ogwumike attempted to take a game-winning shot. As they filmed “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” the movie’s lead actor (LeBron James), other NBA players (Lillard, Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green) and WNBA stars (Ogwumike, Diana Taurasi) learned they could deliver both scripted and improvised lines. So just like when star players first become teammates, they experienced some initial hiccups. “Dame was mad because he said I was ad-libbing too much and I was speaking over his lines,” Ogwumike told USA TODAY Sports while laughing. “It was funny. In between takes, we would have a little bit of fun and banter.”

Taurasi, Ogwumike and Lillard delivered positive reviews with the finished product, which will be released nationwide on Friday nearly 25 years after Michael Jordan starred in the original. But when the NBA and WNBA stars filmed the Looney Tunes’ stand-alone sequel two summers ago, their new job required more than tightening their shorts, lacing their sneakers and playing hoops. “We’re basketball players. We’re not actors. So there were a lot of missed lines and miscues,” Taurasi told USA TODAY Sports. “It was fun to work through the kinks and finally get a scene done that they were happy with. It took a whole day to put together a scene that might take five seconds in a movie.”

Like in all aspects of James’ career, comparisons to the Jordan original are inescapable, but when the movie also has seen two different directors, six different screenwriters, five other NBA and WNBA All-Stars, two years of production and a $150 million budget, the bigger question around the movie may simply be “Is it good?” Answers to that question started landing this week ahead of the movie’s release. Here’s what the reviews had to say. Reviews for ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy” currently holds a 37 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes through 70 reviews and a 40 on Metacritic through 26 reviews.

Though there were some who legitimately enjoyed the film, or at least believed the film’s target audience would enjoy it, like Den of Geek: “The reason Space Jam: A New Legacy doesn’t fall off of the wheels is because the film has a clear message for kids, a satisfying character arc for James, and an emotional climax that is acted well enough by the four-time MVP. That’s more than His Airness’ version gave us. At the end of the day, this is a movie for kids, and they’ll likely be pulled into its world like the characters themselves.”

The 120-employee SpringHill’s projects include “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” starring James alongside a crew of Looney Tunes favorites, which Warner Bros. is releasing July 16 on HBO Max and in theaters. The company also is currently in production on “House Party” for New Line, as well as the Adam Sandler-led “Hustle” for Netflix. And on Monday, ViacomCBS’s Nickelodeon and Awesomeness Films announced an original live-action movie “Fantasy Football,” executive produced by SpringHill Co. in partnership with Genius Entertainment, about a 15-year-old girl who discovers she can control her professional football player dad’s prowess on the field through her video game; production is set to begin in early 2022.

LeBron James: About last night! It was a ABSOLUTE SURREAL feeling doing a WORLD premiere of @spacejammovie in which I’m the lead role! Beyond Craziness. I literally would have dreams about being in Space Jam with the Looney Tunes when I was a kid growing up. Can’t believe this, I just can’t! To my amazing director & cast you guys killed it!!!! This Friday July 16th i can’t wait for all of you to see it! It’s one heck out an ADVENTURE I believe everyone will enjoy!!! Love y’all for real for real for the support!! @thespringhillco @spacejammovie

Sound the alarm – Warner Bros. just dropped free NFTs for the release of Space Jam: A New Legacy including LeBron James and the rest of the Tune Squad. A total of 91,000 limited-edition tokens featuring the Los Angeles Lakers superstar as well as different characters like Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, Tweety Bird, and the rest of the eight members of the team – including LBJ. The studio, in partnership with a Mark Cuban-backed NFT website called Niftys, has rolled out the promo on Monday in anticipation of the scheduled premiere of the film on Friday, July 16.

Dame D.O.L.L.A., who plays Chronos in the film, is the only actor (and athlete) to also appear on the album with the original song “About That Time” featuring G-Eazy, P-Lo and White Dave. While news that Lillard has a substantial role in the film broke in May, it wasn’t until June 17 that Dame Time took to Twitter to share he would also be on the album.

The original Space Jam was made for $88 million and released on Nov. 15, 1996. It generated $230 million worldwide in its theatrical run (which is $364 million in today’s dollars). The sequel’s budget is $162 million. Even if the new film is a dud, and there are SpringHill shows that flop, James will be fine, Squire said. “The risk is the same as for any entertainer who is in the establishment phase of entertainment, and he’s beyond the establishment phase because he has a lot of deals going on,” he said. “He’s diverse enough that his companies and holdings can withstand a cancellation here and there.”


Earlier this summer, Damian Lillard joined LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, Diana Taurasi and a host of other professional NBA and WNBA players, as well as the likes of Don Cheadle and Sonequa Martin-Green for the filming of Space Jam 2, the sequel/remake of the Michael Jordan vehicle, which was originally released in 1996. James takes the lead role this time, with Lillard presumable picking up one of the roles filled by Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing and Larry Johnson in the original.

The long-awaited sequel to “Space Jam” from LeBron James is only months away, and you won’t even have to leave home to see it. “Space Jam: A New Legacy” is hitting both theaters and HBO Max on July 16, 2021 as part of a move by Warner Bros. to release its entire slate of movies in 2021 on its new streaming service. HBO Max released a 30-second sizzle reel on Saturday to remind everyone of that fact, and it included our first look at any scene from James’ upcoming movie.

8 months ago via Xbox

Xbox, LeBron James and Bugs Bunny want your looniest ideas to help us design the Space Jam: A New Legacy arcade-style video game. If your idea is out-of-this-world, we’ll bring it to life as the official Xbox Space Jam: A New Legacy arcade-style game that will launch in Xbox Game Pass in June. We’ll even put your name in the game credits and you could score some of the coolest prizes in the world. See official rules for full details! Just follow the steps below and show us what you got.

The answer is: you don’t try to do what the original did and you try something similar but new, just like the new uniforms that we saw earlier this year. Here’s the summary, which was part of a tie-in with Microsoft (see below) that was released on Monday: “In this film, basketball champion and global icon LeBron James goes on an epic adventure alongside timeless Tune Bugs Bunny. When James and his young son Dom – who dreams of being a video game developer – are trapped in a digital space by a rogue AI, James must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the AI’s digitized champions on the court: a powered-up roster of basketball stars as you’ve never seen them before.”

LeBron James Family Foundation: Would it be the Family Reunion without a special surprise?! @Maverick Carter gives our I Promise families the first ever look at @LeBron James in his @spacejammovie ‘A New Legacy’ jersey!

TMZ Sports obtained audio of the farewell speech LeBron James gave to the “Space Jam” cast and crew on his last day of shooting … and it’s emotional stuff. The NBA superstar — wearing his #6 ‘Toon Squad’ uniform — addressed the cast and crew in Summer 2019 (before the COVID pandemic) … and explained why it was so important for him to take the role in the first place. “I’m gonna be honest completely with you guys — when I found out about the project, I was like it’s ‘Space Jam’! It’s a movie that I grew up watching. People in the movie that I idolize. I was like absolutely, I gotta do it. There’s no way I can turn down ‘Space Jam’!”
1 year ago via SLAM

Tim Hardaway (5x NBA All-Star): I was there for about a week. We played every day. You had Chris Mullin, Rod Strickland out there. Gary Payton, of course. Reggie, Pat, Charles [Barkley]. Charles needed it because you know, he’s always getting heavy during the course of the summer. He really needed to be in shape and ready to go. He loved it. Charles would be going at people. We had to go double team him because basically when he got it down low, nobody could stop him. If you didn’t want to lose, you had to go down there and double team. Basketball stars weren’t the only ones flocking to the Jordan Dome. There was even a celebrity row.
1 year ago via SLAM

Joe Pytka (Director of Space Jam): I only played up there three or four times. The only memory I have really is that Michael was a beast. One poor guy who was about 6-9 was trying to post Michael up. Every time he came down, he did the same move and Michael blocked his shot every time. After three or four times, Michael just chewed him out. He said, You’ve been doing the same move for the last 15 minutes and it ain’t working for you. Figure something else out. The guy was humiliated. He just killed the guy.

Actor Paul Scheer — best known for his memorable role as “Andre” in FX’s “The League” — is currently working on Showtime’s “Black Monday” with Cheadle, and during an appearance on the “Clip City” podcast to talk about his Clippers fandom, he let the tidbit about his co-star’s role in “Space Jam 2” slip as an aside in a conversation about Blake Griffin’s acting success (emphasis mine): “Actually Don Cheadle, who I do ‘Black Monday’ with, he’s the bad guy in ‘Space Jam,’ and he said LeBron’s really great. He was great in ‘Train Wreck’ too.”

Before he wore a Los Angeles Lakers uniform, Anthony Davis already fulfilled a childhood dream. He filmed Space Jam 2 this summer, which gave him an early glimpse of what it is like to work with LeBron James. Davis also gained more perspective on the time and work it takes to perfect something. “That was definitely frustrating — the ‘hurry-up-and-wait.’ You’re just there waiting around to shoot your scene,” Davis recalled in an interview with USA TODAY Sports. “But just seeing the way they take everything seriously and how perfect they want everything to be, it was cool. I’ve never been on set for that much time. I think it was a cool experience.”

Although Griffin confirmed he won’t be in Space Jam 2 (“I wasn’t invited,” he told the crowd during the show), he has built up a strong IMDb portfolio and has the comedy chops to try this alternate career on a more permanent basis. Yet he insists there’s no end goal to his occasional forays into the comedy world. “Honestly, there’s not,” Griffin says. “I’m not doing this to one day have my Netflix special. It’s just something I enjoy. To me, it gives me a chance to give back.”

Well, on this Taco Tuesday, James was working. He was on set for the filming of “Space Jam 2,” which could have put a pause to James’ Taco Tuesday tradition. James wasn’t going to let that happen … and he gave us a glimpse of the Tune Squad jersey in the process. James posted to his Instagram Story a series of videos showing him enjoying some tacos and shouting “Taco Tuesday!” But that jersey … looks like the Tune Squad will be rocking the away kits this film.

Lillard spent a week in Hollywood for the shoot, which required both long days and sacrificing his facial hair. “That was different,” said Lillard of shooting the movie. “You all know I’ve always had a babyface, so this season I grew a beard out, it took me like six months to grow it. I show up on the set, they make me shave it off for the animation. That’s why I look like this now. It was bare-faced for the animation, 15-hour days, showing up on the set at 6 a.m., leaving at 9 p.m. It was long.”

Lillard wouldn’t divulge much of anything about his role in nor the plot of Space Jam 2 other than to say “it’s significant, it’s not a cameo.” The time commitment was significant, as was the requirement to be clean shaven, but despite the sacrifices, Lillard thinks it’ll be worth the effort. “I’m not going to say it was fun, eventually it was fun, and now I’m happy I did it knowing that I was a part of something like that,” said Lillard. “I think it’s going to be great.”

Being in Space Jam probably introduced you to a whole new generation of fans. How did your role in that movie come together and what’s it like to be part of a classic film? Muggsy Bogues: Space Jam was – and still is – such an iconic, classic movie. That’s not even something we thought about. The fact that it’s still relevant today is incredible. It was a family movie so everyone could enjoy it, from the parents down to the kids. Having the opportunity to take part in it was surreal for me. Michael , Patrick , , and myself all had the same agent: David Falk. I don’t know how it all came about behind the scenes. They felt like I should be one of the cast members. But, believe it or not, I got hurt and I needed surgery, so they actually brought in Tim Hardaway to read my lines and I think they were going to go with Tim because of my injury. But once I read my lines and they felt comfortable I could work through my injury, they actually created a little dolly to pull me on so it looked like I was walking. They made it work. I was thankful that they made it work.

When production on the movie began in 1995, Michael Jordan had just come back from retirement … so he and Pippen were teammates in the Chicago Bulls again — which had people wondering why didn’t #33 have a significant role??? So, when we saw Pip at LAX on Thursday, we needed that explanation!!! I think I was injured or recovering from offseason injuries,” Pippen said … “I wasn’t able to participate.” If he WAS healthy though, Pippen says he would have agreed to a role in a heartbeat.

It’s been well known that James has struggled to find NBA stars to be in “Space Jam 2” alongside him, but the King could have his co-star, and it isn’t Lonzo Ball. Warriors star Klay Thompson is “locked in” to star in the film along with James, FOX Sports’ Jason McIntyre reported Saturday on “The Jason McIntyre Show.” “Everybody thinks (Klay Thompson) is probably staying with the Warriors and I would agree with that,” McIntyre said. “But I heard some news this week that could change things. That Klay Thompson is now ‘locked in’ to do ‘Space Jam 2.’ I don’t think that news is anywhere. “I Googled it last night, I went on the internet. Nobody has it. I do believe an announcement will come out after The Finals that Klay Thompson is committed to ‘Space Jam 2,’ he will be in the movie.”

I’m not sure how excited I am to watch “Space Jam 2”. I think LeBron James is a slightly better actor than Michael Jordan, and the original “Space Jam” was nothing to shake a stick at. I’m the perfect age for Space Jam to have meant something to me, but having watched the film as an adult I can tell you it’s largely underwhelming. Still, Space Jam 2 is set to film this summer and we finally have a confirmation of that fact from LeBron himself. Speaking at All-Star Weekend, James told a crowd in Charlotte that they are indeed going to film once the season is over.

And perhaps nothing on the King’s off-the-court agenda has received as much attention as the upcoming reboot of Space Jam, starring James and produced by James’ SpringHill Entertainment. The director for the film, Terence Nance, has some high hopes for the film, which he believes will be a disruptive force in the industry, especially in regards to traditional standards of masculinity. From VICE’s Taylor Hosking: I asked if he had plans to shake up traditional conceptions of masculinity with Space Jam 2. “Pretty sure going to disrupt everything,” he told me in the fall of last year. “I’m excited about what that movie can be.”“Pretty sure going to disrupt everything,” he told me in the fall of last year. “I’m excited about what that movie can be.”

“Who doesn’t like ‘Space Jam’ and Michael Jordan?” LaVine said after the movie. “The season is about to start, so I’m just trying to keep it light.” He couldn’t remember exactly how old he was the first time he saw the film, which was released when he was 20 months old. He estimated he has seen it dozens of times, though Paul thought it was closer to 200. When LaVine was a child and the closing credits would roll, he would ask his father to rewind the tape and start it from the beginning.

After James signed on, Carter brought in Coogler, whom he had met through actor and frequent Coogler collaborator Michael B. Jordan (the three had driven from L.A. to Las Vegas to see a boxing match, and when Jordan fell asleep, Carter and Coogler talked “for three hours, just about life and work and hip-hop and friends and family, everything … we’ve been friends ever since,” says Carter). They tapped Terence Nance, who created HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness, to direct. Production is tentatively slated for 2019 during the NBA’s off-season. Like the original, the new movie is sure to be well stocked with cameos from NBA players. But Jordan? “We’ll see,” says Carter, “Hopefully there will be a role for Michael if he wants it. But Michael Jordan is Michael Fuckin’ Jordan. It doesn’t matter [if James] calls him, he’s gonna do whatever the hell he wants, which he has earned that right to do.” And then he adds: “LeBron and Michael are not sitting around talking about Space Jam.”

In his first project since directing the record-breaking Black Panther, Ryan Coogler is teaming with LeBron James on the long-anticipated follow-up to the Michael Jordan-Bugs Bunny hit Space Jam, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Coogler will produce the new Space Jam movie and Terence Nance, who created HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness and directed the experimental film The Oversimplification of Her Beauty, will direct. Production on the Warner Bros. film is tentatively slated for 2019, during the NBA off-season. It will be James’ first starring role after a successful turn as a supporting character in the 2015 Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck.

Getting Coogler, whose credits also include Creed and Fruitvale Station, is a coup. The director is among the industry’s most sought-after artists. Not only did Black Panther break ground as a superhero movie from a black perspective with a black cast, but it has set a number of box-office benchmarks on its way to grossing $1.34 billion worldwide, including becoming the highest-grossing film ever by a black director. “I loved his vision” for Black Panther, James tells The Hollywood Reporter, noting that when he was a kid growing up in Akron, Ohio, there were no black superheroes. “So for Ryan to be able to bring that to kids, it’s amazing.”
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July 28, 2021 | 7:25 pm EDT Update

No. 1 pick candidate Jalen Green: I want to live in Detroit

Before long, Jalen Green was the highlight of the G-League—the fastest player on the court, a multi-level scorer and apt defender, all the while delivering the same highlight reel, high-flying displays that made him famous on the internet. He’d write down goals on yellow sticky notes on his door and cross them off when he accomplished them. Before leaving that Walnut Creek apartment and relocating to LA, the only one left read, “Be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft.” “Number one pick,” he tells me, “that would be a dream come true. I ain’t going to lie. That happens, I’m going to have a breakdown,” he laughs. And, naturally, he has preference in mind. “I want to live in Detroit.”
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There’s rarely quiet around Jalen now: the buzz of a nearby phone, the clicking of cameras, the throngs of fans can be incessant. The unhinged Instagram comments on casual pictures with friends from people he doesn’t know, the constant judgements on his behavior, the cold shoulder when he comes back home to Fresno. “Fresno’s like a small city, so it’s real small minded. It’s like a crab bucket,” Jalen admits, dropping his head back underneath his hoodie. “You’ve got a bucket full of crabs. They all pull on you when you try to get out. You can fall into crime there, all that type of stuff. If you don’t have the right home, right surroundings, right people around you, that shit can lead you down the wrong path.”