Ryan Coogler to produce LeBron James’ Space Jam sequel
LeBron James is bringing Black Panther director Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) onboard the Space Jam sequel, who will produce the Warner Bros. project with production expected to start during NBA offseason in 2019, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed.
Coogler is producing Space Jam 2 with Terence Nance (Random Acts of Flyness, The Oversimplification of Her Beauty) set to direct. Nance is replacing Justin Lin (Fast & Furious franchise) who was one of the directors originally attached to the project.
As previously announced, James is starring in the project, which will be his first appearance on the big screen since 2015’s Trainwreck. James told the outlet that he loved Coogler’s vision for Black Panther, commenting how there were no black superheroes when he was growing up in Ohio. “So for Ryan to be able to bring that to kids, it’s amazing,” James said.
Released in 1996, the original Space Jam starred Michael Jordan and saw him teaming up with the Looney Tunes as they played a game of basketball in an intergalactic arena. Though not much of a success critically, the film brought in $230 million worldwide and remains the highest-grossing basketball movie of all time.
“The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” says James, “It’s so much bigger. I’d just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don’t just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.”
Space Jam 2 will play a bit on the debate of who is the GOAT between six-time NBA champion Jordan and (so far) three-time NBA champion James. Like the first film, fans can expect to see a number of cameos, though no further details or roles have been confirmed.