After years of speculation, the Hollywood Reporter revealed Monday that LeBron James will indeed star in “Space Jam 2,” the sequel to the 1996 film that starred Michael Jordan, Bill Murray and Bugs Bunny. Justin Lin (four “Fast & Furious” movies, the upcoming “Star Trek Beyond”) will direct a script written by Andrew Dodge (“Bad Words”).
Then ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who has sources close to James, tweeted this:
Despite a report LeBron will star in Space Jam 2, no deal is in place sources say. Maybe at some point but not as of yet.
— Brian Windhorst (@WindhorstESPN) May 2, 2016
Last summer, James signed a production deal with Warner Bros. to develop movies, TV shows and digital content for the studio. Warner Bros. filed new trademarks for “Space Jam” around the same time, leading to speculation that James would star in a sequel.
The original drew generally blah reviews — as one would expect for a movie starring a non-actor and some cartoons — but pulled in $230.4 million worldwide, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The James version — if it happens — would have the benefit of someone who had actually spent time emoting in front of a camera, as the Cleveland Cavaliers star garnered some pretty good notices for his supporting turn in “Trainwreck” last year.
Reaction to the original report on Twitter ranged from over-the-moon excitement (get it? moon? space?) from obvious “Space Jam” enthusiasts to general snarkiness like the following.
I was just thinking we haven't had enough Space Jam movies. Good work, Hollywood.
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) May 2, 2016
Space Jam Twitter gonna be more upset at LeBron for a failed movie than a loss in the NBA Finals.
— Andrew HammondAP (@ahammsportsgeek) May 2, 2016
Climax of the new Space Jam: LeBron misses clutch jumper , but the planet is saved by a Ray Allen corner 3.
— Jacob Floyd (@yesthatjacob) May 2, 2016