When Warner Bros. announced they'd finalized a deal with NBA superstar Lebron James last year, many believed this confirmed Space Jam 2 was actually happening. As the NBA player has long been rumored to star in a sequel. The basketball player revealed in March that the project is still "on the radar," but no definitive plans had been set yet. That all changed today, with Star Trek Beyond filmmaker Justin Lin entering talks to direct the Space Jam sequel starring Lebron James.
The Hollywood Reporter reveals that Lebron James will headline the sequel two decades after the original, with Andrew Dodge (Bad Words) and Alfredo Botello (Hollywood Adventures) coming aboard to write the script. While the project is still in the early phases of development, this new report claims Justin Lin is also helping to prep the script alongside Andrew Dodge. No story details have surfaced yet, and it isn't clear if any of LeBron James' fellow NBA stars will be joining him in the follow-up. But that seems quite likley.
Space Jam, which will celebrate its 20th Anniversary this October, centered on NBA legend Michael Jordan as himself, teaming up with a slew of Looney Tunes characters to defeat a team of aliens in a game of basketball, with the future of the human race on the line. Other NBA stars who appeared in the movie included Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Mugsy Bogues, Vlade Divac, Larry Johnson and Alonzo Mourning, just to name a few. The supporting cast also included Wayne Knight, Theresa Randle and Bill Murray, who played himself.
The original Space Jam took in $90.4 million domestically during its theatrical run in 1996, which is the equivalent of a $174.7 million movie today, when adjusting for inflation. The movie made $230.4 million worldwide. No budget figures were released for the original movie, and it remains to be seen how large the budget will be for this sequel. But that may all depend on how large the cast turns out to be.
LeBron James made his big screen debut in last year's breakout hit comedy Trainwreck, playing himself. He also executive produced the Starz series Survivor's Remorse, and he voiced himself in an episode of the animated series Teen Titans Go!. Justin Lin is working with writer Andrew Dodge on an untitled cop comedy that Dodge is writing and Lin will produce, and Dodge is also writing an untitled TV drama for HBO that Justin Lin will produce alongside Jeremy Renner. We'll be sure to keep you posted with more updates on Space Jam 2.