Space Jam 2 Gets Ryan Coogler Rewrite, Shoe Contracts Cause Casting Headache
Space Jam 2 is getting a rewrite. This project has been in the works for a long time and it finally gained some real steam last year when Lakers star LeBron James officially signed on to star in and produce the sequel to Michael Jordan’s 1996 classic. It also didn’t hurt that Ryan Coogler, the filmmaker behind Marvel’s Black Panther, boarded as a producer as well. Now we have word that Coogler has expanded the scope of his role, as he’s also working on rewriting the script while Warner Bros. tries to navigate the complex waters of getting other NBA stars on board.
According to a new report, Ryan Coogler is working on a rewrite of the Space Jam 2 script alongside Sev Ohanian, who is behind the HBO series Searching. The idea is that LeBron James will use part of this NBA offseason to begin shooting the sequel. Unfortunately for James, this is the first time in a very long time that he’s missed out on the playoffs, which does, however, give him some extra time to prep for his on-screen role alongside the Looney Tunes.
There are some other kinks that need to be worked out as well. It was recently reported by ESPN that LeBron James is having issues recruiting other top basketball stars to be in the movie. While it is true that things are complicated on that front, that’s not really James’ fault, as it’s up to Warner Bros. to make those things happen. Though, James can use his influence to help. Additionally, this report notes that shoe contracts are going to prevent players such as Stephen Curry, James Harden and Kevin Durant from appearing in Space Jam 2. Nike is going to be a big part of the movie and Curry’s deal with Under Armour, Harden’s deal with Adidas and Durant’s pursuit of other Hollywood efforts are getting in the way of them being involved.
As such, it’s said that their appearances in the movie will be right next to impossible. It wouldn’t be fair to pin that on James. But it’s a large league and there are a lot of other players who would surely like to be involved, if they can make it work. What we know for sure is that Terence Nance (Random Acts of Flyness) is in the director’s chair with filming set to begin sometime over the summer.
The original Space Jam remains the highest-grossing basketball movie of all time, having made $230 million at the box office during its run in 1996. It’s also remained rather popular over the years, thanks to 90s kids feeling nostalgic about it. Warner Bros. has locked down a July 16, 2021 release date for Space Jam 2. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as any further details on the project are made available. This news was previously reported by The Hollywood Reporter.