The official trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy was released on Saturday, and a surprise cameo appearance of the droogs from A Clockwork Orange has drawn some backlash on social media. In the new trailer, a wide variety of fictional characters from the Warner Bros. library make special appearances, from King Kong to Cheetarah from ThunderCats.
For many fans, the most bizarre cameo in the Space Jam 2 trailer is the dastardly gang from A Clockwork Orange. In the 1971 movie, which was written and directed by Stanley Kubrick, a gang known as the "droogs" commits dastardly crimes, including the particularly horrific sexual assault and murders of their victims. Needless to say, these aren't the kind of guys you'd expect to show up in a kids' movie, making them especially stand out.
Previously, it was reported that the controversial cartoon skunk Pepe Le Pew had been completely scrubbed from the sequel. Not only was a planned scene featuring Pepe cut, the French skunk doesn't so much as have a cameo in the movie. With the droogs popping up in the Space Jam 2 trailer, fans are calling out Warner Bros. for axing Pepe Le Pew while bringing in the violent criminals from A Clockwork Orange.
"I love how they got rid of Pepe Le Pew in Space Jam 2, but actually had the b*lls to stick the gang from 'A Clockwork Orange' in the background. Gotta love that WB marketing," writes one fan.
Another popular tweet includes one photo of the Pepe Le Pew news alongside a screenshot fo the droogs in the Space Jam 2 trailer, comparing "how it started" to "how it's going" now. The post has been liked more than 35,000 times.
Filmmaker Harrison Smith also writes: "Remove a horny, cartoon nerd skunk to avoid offending the woke PC culture. Perfectly okay to include cameos of the rapist Droogs from A Clockwork Orange. Hollywood Logic for Space Jam 2."
Another tweet reads: "pepe le pew is too "rapey" for space jam 2 but the droogs from clockwork orange are fine. don't think i don't see your anti-french bigotry, WB."
"Man they really are putting all our favorite Warner Bros. characters into Space Jam 2!" says someone else. "The Iron Giant! Love him! The Flintstones! Yabadabadoo! King Kong! So badass! The rapist/murderers from The Clockwork Orange! Uhhhhhhhhhhhh."
One tweet imagines that the conversation at Warner Bros. went something like this: "Yeah, Pepe Le Pew really is a bridge too far. Better just remove him altogether. If anything, it'll really make the Droogs from A CLOCKWORK ORANGE really pop in the background."
And another fan puts it more bluntly by writing, "I love that Pepé le Pew can't be in Space Jam 2 but Alex and his Droogs from A Clockwork Orange are in it."
With Alex DeLarge and his gang watching from the sidelines, Space Jam: A New Legacy will be released in theaters and on HBO Max on July 16, 2021. As for Pepe Le Pew, there are no plans at Warner Bros. for him to ever appear again in any other Looney Tunes projects.