There's been something of a shake-up behind the scenes with Space Jam 2. LeBron James is still set to star in the movie alongside the Looney Tunes, but there's been a change in directors. Terrence Nance, who had originally been tapped to helm the long-awaited sequel, has vacated the project shortly after production got underway. Warner Bros. isn't skipping a beat though, as they've tapped Malcolm D. Lee, the filmmaker behind Girls Trip, to step in and take his place.
According to a new report, the parting of ways with Terrence Nance and Space Jam 2 was amicable. There is no indication that it was some overly dramatic production fiasco or anything along those lines. It isn't clear if the change-up will result in any sort of production delay. In any event, switching directors after filming has already gotten underway on a big movie is no small thing. That said, Malcolm D. Lee would seem to be highly qualified for the job. Nance had limited experience heading into this gig, having created Random Acts of Flyness for HBO, in addition to directing the indie The Oversimplification of Her Beauty. That's not to say filmmakers haven't made such leaps before, but it does add a great deal of pressure.
As for Malcolm D. Lee, he has already shown that he can make a highly successful studio comedy. 2017's Girls Trip, aside from being a critical success, went on to gross $140 million worldwide, working from a budget of just $19 million. Similarly, last year's Night School earned $103 million against a $29 million budget. Some of his other credits include Undercover Brother, Soul Men and Scary Movie 5. The point ultimately being that Lee has a whole lot more experience and a record of many more hits than misses throughout his career, which spans two decades.
As far as the cast goes, Avengers: Endgame star Don Cheadle recently signed on, joining Sonequa Martin-Green, known for her role on Star Trek: Discovery. She's said to be playing LeBron James' wife. Joining James on the basketball star side of things will be Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers, Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets and Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors. WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and the Ogwumike sisters, Nneka and Chiney of the Los Angeles Sparks are also on board.
Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is on board to produce the sequel. He also co-wrote the screenplay alongside Sev Ohanian, who previously worked on HBO's Searching. LeBron James is also producing via his own company Springhill Entertainment. Justin Lin, who was attached to direct the project himself at one point, serves as an executive producer alongside Sev Ohanian and Jamal Henderson. Space Jam 2 is currently set to hit theaters on July 16, 2021. We'll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news was first reported by Deadline.