It appears that the professional basketball players that will appear in the reboot of ‘Space Jam’ have been selected. LeBron James stars as the lead, and he will reportedly be joined by the NBA’s Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson, and Damian Lillard, and the WNBA’s Diana Taurasi, and sisters Chiney and Nneka Ogwumike among others. Davis, known as “The Brow” for his prominent unibrow, was recently traded from the New Orleans Pelicans to James’ team, the Los Angeles Lakers, which may have opened the door for his casting.
This news arrives via Shams Charania of The Athletic:
Sources: Space Jam 2, starring LeBron James, is expected to feature key roles for Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis and Klay Thompson and WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and Nneka Ogwumike. Several more NBA and WNBA players, including Chiney Ogwumike, are expected to play roles in film.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 20, 2019
‘Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler is producing and reworked the script. Terence Nance (‘Random Acts of Flyness’) is attached to direct. ‘Star Trek Discovery’s Sonequa Martin-Green is set to co-star as James’ wife.
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Previously, endorsement deals obstructed the search for professional ball players to be featured, as James has a deal with Nike, which barred any athletes with partnerships with other shoe manufacturers from appearing in the film.
The first ‘Space Jam’, released in 1996, starred Michael Jordan and featured appearances by a who’s who of NBA superstars including Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, and more. It was previously reported that the filmmakers were hoping to bring Jordan back for the new film.
That movie, and the sequel, will also co-star Warner Brothers’ ‘Looney Tunes’ characters, fronted by Bugs Bunny. In the original, Jordan and the ‘Tunes had to win a basketball game to defeat cartoon alien invaders. It’s not clear if the new flick will simply recreate that premise or if Nance and Coogler will take the story in a different direction.
Reportedly, ‘Space Jam 2’ will begin shooting this summer. It is scheduled to hit theaters on July 16, 2021.