Over the weekend, LeBron James shared the first footage of the highly-anticipated Space Jam: A New Legacy, the follow-up to Michael Jordan’s 1996 blockbuster hit with Looney Tunes iconic Bugs Bunny.
A Brief Clip to Wet the Appetite
On Saturday, HBO Max released a 30-second teaser trailer highlighting all its upcoming releases, one of which was the long-awaited rebirth of a franchise that deserved immediate sequels.
The brief three-second clip was edited and shared on LeBron James’ Instagram account with the following caption:
“Space Jam movie coming at y’all in just a few months from now! I’m so excited about this project! Cannot wait for you guys to see it!”
The clip shows the L.A. Lakers star standing in front of Bugs Bunny as both look on in fear as an unknown character flies up in a beam of light into the bottom of the scoreboard, causing a massive explosion.
A Franchise Reborn
Rather than continue the story in which (spoiler alert!) MJ and Bugs Bunny’s crew defeated the Monstars, A New Legacy is forgoing a sequel and focusing on rebooting the Space Jam franchise. The film is being directed by Malcolm D. Lee and produced by Black Panther‘s Ryan Coogler.
“It’s not a sequel,” James reiterated. “It’s called Space Jam: A New Legacy, it’s not called Space Jam 2. There will be a basketball game, I’ll say that. And there will be some people that are a little out of this world that we’re competing against.”
According to plot details released late last year, James and the Looney Tunes bunch are forced to compete against a group of artificial intelligence opponents. Yahoo Sports’ Chris Cwik published the plot details released by Microsoft:
“When LeBron and his young son, Dom, are trapped in a digital space by a rogue A.I., LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.’s digitized champions on the court,” the summary reads.
“It’s Tunes versus Goons in the highest-stakes challenge of his life, that will redefine LeBron’s bond with his son and shine a light on the power of being yourself. The ready-for-action Tunes destroy convention, supercharge their unique talents and surprise even ‘King’ James by playing the game their own way.”
LeBron Excited About Film’s Release
In December, James discussed more details about the film during an episode of Uninterrupted. He said the movie’s story revolves heavily around “tackling between me being a parent, supporting my son and my son basically turning off at some point and me trying to regain that trust.”
Back in Sept. 2018, James told The Hollywood Reporter that he was excited about the film’s release and the potential impact it could have on young people.
“The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie. It’s so much bigger,” James explained.
“I’d just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don’t just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan [Coogler] did that for a lot of people [with Black Panther].”
In August last year, the four-time NBA Finals champion also revealed on his LeBron James Family Foundation Twitter account the first look at his Tune Squad basketball jersey.
Space Jam: A New Legacy is set to release on July 16, 2021.