Storyline: Space Jam Movie

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3 months 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.
3 months 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.”

By all metrics, when Space Jam was released in November 1996, the film was a smash hit. It opened No. 1 at the box office, was a merchandising juggernaut for all parties involved, and helped relaunch the Looney Tunes. In today’s Hollywood, those kinds of results would immediately warrant an immediate follow-up. Now, 20 years after the original, a sequel from Fast Five director Justin Lin and NBA superstar LeBron James is reportedly in the works, a move that baffles Pytka. “I think it’s ridiculous to try and make a different movie out of it,” he declares. “I can’t see it. I can’t imagine how it could be what that film was. Not that Space Jam is a great movie, but it had something that touched that period of time because of who those athletes were and it doesn’t exist anymore.”

A few years ago, Pytka says representatives for Atlanta Hawks center Dwight Howard approached him to helm a sequel. He turned down that overture due to his belief that a new film wouldn’t work without the unprecedented global reach and appeal of the original production’s star. “I’ve worked with LeBron and I’ve worked with Steph Curry, and as good a player as LeBron is and as good a player as Steph Curry is, they’re not Michael Jordan,” he argues. “We will never see another player like him. He was a transcendent figure, much like Muhammad Ali. He was beyond his sport. These guys aren’t.”

Whitney Chapman, vice president and general manager of categories for Jordan Brand, provided a further explanation: “We’re really excited to actually tell this story about how the Monstars are coming back, and they’re coming back with a vengeance. They’re really pissed that they lost the game, and they’re here to wreak havoc on the game of basketball. Lots of propaganda going on and trying to have everyone to comply with this idea of their soulless game. This marketing campaign that’ll go global, the story’s really going to unfold around that, and then you’ll have to wait to see what happens on how this new basketballer that’s here today actually rises up to defy the odds of getting after the Monstars.”

Patrick Patterson: Please, please, Hollywood, I’m pleading with you, do not make Space Jam 2. The past couple of years, more and more rumors have been swirling about a Space Jam sequel. I’ve seen a lot of speculation over who will star in it, when it will be released and what the plot might be. So now, as an NBA player, movie lover and grown man who has a Looney Tunes painting proudly hanging in his home, I feel it’s time for me to finally take a stand. I’m a huge movie fan. Movies are a big part of my life. This summer I even had the opportunity to help cover the Toronto International Film Festival for the CBC. So please know that I don’t say this lightly: The original Space Jam is the perfect movie. The. Perfect. Movie.

Patrick Patterson: I think the reason the original Space Jam was so amazing was that it had absolutely no business being good. I’m a professional athlete, and I think most sports movies suck, particularly the ones that cast athletes in starring roles. It’s just a fact. But for some reason, by using like random aliens as a connector, this film about Looney Tunes characters and an assortment of semiprominent-to-prominent ’90s NBA stars just … worked. It captivated you. It felt like … it actually happened. Every sports fan has watched their team slumping and in the back of their mind thought, Damn, wonder if the Monstars took their powers. It seemed so real that the most unrealistic part of the entire movie was the suggestion that Michael Jordan lived in a modest two-story home at the peak of his stardom.

Patrick Patterson: Here’s the thing, that plot isn’t that much more ridiculous than the original Space Jam, and I just thought of it off the top of my head. So if they did make a Space Jam 2, what would be stopping them from making a Space Jam 3. Then maybe a Space Jam 4. Then maybe Space Jam 5: EuroLeague. And then nobody will ever want to watch a movie, cartoon or basketball game ever again because it’s all been ruined by this movie franchise that was never meant to be. This is a very slippery slope we’re on. I know this thing would make money. Kids dig bright fluorescent colors and characters that act silly. It’ll crush $200 million easy. Some things are bigger than money, though. Some things are sacred. I think the rich legacy of Space Jam is one of those things.

While he has put such talk on the backburner, LeBron James has been linked to a commitment for Space Jam 2, a sequel to the 1996 Michael Jordan vehicle. And the one thing about LeBron is he is known to share with his friends. So could Dwyane Wade, who already has shown some acting chops, be convinced to hop aboard? “I would. I would be interested in it,” Wade said. Wade said he sees nothing wrong with a follow up to the original. “Why not?” he said. “Obviously the first one was with Jordan and so many great players, so why not have one for this generation if it can be done?” Beyond Jordan, the original Space Jam also included Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Alonzo Mourning and several other players of that era. Earlier during the postseason, James said of the project. “I have a great team that’s handling my affairs off the court. Ever since I signed with Warner Brothers, we’ve been looking to do some things and figure out some things that best fit both sides. My team is handling that, and I’m not going to take my focus off what my job is right now, and that’s being in the postseason right now.”

On Wednesday, James addressed the rumors surrounding his potential attachment to star in the film. Or, he kind of did. Via Fox Sports Ohio: “I have a great team that handles my affairs off the floor, James said after shootaround. “Since I signed with Warner Bros. we’ve been looking to do some things and figure out some things that best fit both sides. But my team’s handling that and I’m not going to take my focus off what my job is right now, which is handling the postseason right now. ” So that’s a non-denial denial. “I’m not focused on it” is not “I haven’t signed anything” or “I’m not going to do it” or “Are you kidding me why would I possibly risk my cultural status on this kind of idea.” So you can bet that there’s a good chance James winds up being announced as the star of the sequel this summer.
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