Shortly after the premiere of the official trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy, it was revealed that Emmy-winning actress Zendaya has joined the sequel as the voice of Lola Bunny. In the original Space Jam, the cartoon rabbit was voiced by Kath Soucie, and it had been expected that Soucie would reprise the role for the sequel. Now, it's been revealed that Zendaya has officially been cast as the new voice of Lola.
In addition to a new voice, fans will notice from the Space Jam 2 trailer that Lola has also been given a visual makeover, looking more family-friendly compared to her appearance in the first movie. This is the result of director Malcolm D. Lee's decision to make the character less "sexualized" in the sequel after watching the first Space Jam.
"Lola [Bunny] was very sexualized, like Betty Boop mixed with Jessica Rabbit. Lola was not politically correct," Lee told Entertainment Weekly last month. "This is a kids' movie, why is she in a crop top? It just felt unnecessary, but at the same time there's a long history of that in cartoons. This is 2021. It's important to reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters."
Lee went on to add this about Lola Bunny: "She probably has the most human characteristics of the Tunes; she doesn't have a thing like a carrot or a lisp or a stutter. So we reworked a lot of things, not only her look, like making sure she had an appropriate length on her shorts and was feminine without being objectified, but gave her a real voice. For us, it was, let's ground her athletic prowess, her leadership skills, and make her as full a character as the others."
Space Jam: A New Legacy stars LeBron James as himself, following the NBA legend as he gets sucked into a virtual space along with his young son (Cedric Joe). To get home, "King James" must team up with the Tune Squad to defeat a team of digitized champions created by a rogue algorithm (Don Cheadle). Can LeBron win the game with the help of Bugs Bunny, Lola, and the other members of the Looney Tunes gang?
Along with Zendaya Coleman as Lola, the cartoon voice cast includes Jeff Bergman (Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn, Fred Flintstone), Eric Bauza (Daffy Duck, Marvin the Martian), Bob Bergen (Porky Pig, Tweety), Candi Milo (Granny), and Gabriel Iglesias (Speedy Gonzales). On the live-action side, LeBron James stars with Don Cheadle, Sonequa Martin-Green, Cedric Joe, Khris Davis, Ceyair J. Wright, and Harper Leigh Alexander. Several NBA and WNBA players will be making cameos.
Zendaya has earned very high praise as an actress for her role in the hit HBO series Euphoria with her performance earning her the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress --- the youngest-ever winner of that award. She is also very well known for starring as MJ in Tom Holland's Spider-Man movie trilogy in the MCU and will be reprising that role this year in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Space Jam: A New Legacy is scheduled to be released on HBO Max and in theaters on July 16, 2021. This news comes to us from Entertainment Weekly.