Through a long and distinguished career, Don Cheadle has worked with many of the greats of cinema, from actors to filmmakers. In the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy, Cheadle will be playing the role of the villain opposite a titan from a very different industry, basketball. Cheadle will star alongside LeBron James, who will be taking over the lead role from Michael Jordan in the original Space Jam. In an interview with EW, Cheadle expressed his excitement over working opposite the current GOAT of Basketball.
"What was pitched to me, what they wanted to do with my character, what was going to happen with LeBron, the conceit of the film and the opportunity to take a classic title like that and do another spin on it with the latest GOAT, being LeBron, I just thought, 'Hey, this is cool. To get to play this really innovative character, which I don't even know how much I can talk about, or what you know. But I just thought it was going to be a cool family story with LeBron and a cool character to play opposite him."
While most of the details surrounding the character played by Don Cheadle in the movie have been kept under wraps, we know he will be playing a rogue A.I. named Al G Rhythm, an entity that sucks James and his son Dom, played by Cedric Joe, into the WB Server-verse, to play a basketball game of epic proportions. There they encounter a host of animated and live-action Warner properties, particularly the Looney Tunes, which include Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and Lola Bunny.
Ironically, while this will be Cheadle's first time playing a rogue A.I., his character in the MCU, Warmachine, has had a painful encounter with one in Captain America: Civil War, where the android superhero Vision shot and permanently injured Warmachine. This time around, Cheadle's A.I. character will probably not do anything so extreme, considering this is a kid's movie. But according to Malcolm D. Lee, the director of Space Jam: A New Legacy, Cheadle's role is still meant to intimidate the audience.
"First of all, I've been wanting to work with Don Cheadle since I got in the business; ever since I saw him as Mouse in [1995's] Devil in a Blue Dress. Don is brilliant, and it's not easy to display artificial intelligence in a way that is kid-friendly and going to cross as not human and still have human characteristics and emotions. Your antagonists have to be as interesting as your protagonists, like Darth Vader, Hans Gruber. You've got to have somebody who's formidable, that you want to watch, that you want to engage with, and be a little bit scared of."
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee, Space Jam: A New Legacy features a lead cast consisting of LeBron James, Don Cheadle, and Sonequa Martin-Green. The film arrives in theaters and on HBO Max on July 16. This news comes from Entertainment Weekly.