‘Space Jam 2’ has run into an unexpected snag as a bunch of strapping, muscular men are fighting over shoes. According to a report from The Hollywood Reporter, it has been a challenge to find other NBA stars to appear in the film, because LeBron James, the film’s lead, is the face of Nike, which means that any players with contracts with competitors like Adidas or Under Armor are off-limits. That’s a new one.
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It should probably be pointed out that the original ‘Space Jam’ only came into existence after Bugs Bunny appeared in a Nike commercial with the original film’s human star Michael Jordan. The commercial proved so popular that Warner Brothers decided to turn it into a full-length movie.
Among the players that this seems to cut out are Stephen Curry (Under Armor), and James Harden (Adidas). Kevin Durant is signed to Nike, but is reportedly just not interested, as he is developing a semi-autobiographical series for Apple TV+.
In September of last year, ‘Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler signed on to produce, but word has it, he’s now rewriting the script, with Sev Ohanian (‘Searching’). The previous draft was penned by Andrew Dodge. Terence Nance is attached to direct. In February, Warner Brothers scheduled ‘Space Jam’ to open on July 16, 2021, and it is believed that even with the rewrites and… manly footwear conundrum, ‘Space Jam 2’ will begin filming in July, as planned.
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One non-athlete cast is ‘Star Trek: Discovery’s Sonequa Martin-Green, who will portray James’ wife. (Actors portrayed Jordan’s family in the first movie, as well.) The film is also set to star O’Shea Jackson Jr. (‘Godzilla: King of the Monsters’), Lil Pump (‘Deadpool 2’), and retired NBA players, Charles Barkley and Shawn Bradley, who both appeared in the first movie, when they were still playing professionally.
If these folks could settle their shoe issue, maybe things can get rolling soon.
Provided things come together, ‘Space Jam 2’ will bounce into theaters on July 16, 2021.