When you think about, the genesis of this new movie project makes sense in every made-for-Hollywood kind of way.
Take one of the top filmmakers in the world right now, Ryan Coogler of “Black Panther,” add the most famous athlete in the world right now, LeBron James, and exhume one of the most iconic films made in the last 20 years, “Space Jam.”
And what do you get? The very reason James decided to continue his NBA career in the City of Angels. The guy is going to be a movie star, if he can upstage Bugs Bunny, which frankly, not even Yosemite Sam could ever do.
It has been announced that James, Coogler and Terence Nance will produce the remake of the 1996 film, a live action/animated sports comedy that starred Looney Toons characters and Michael Jordan. But this won’t be a sequel. Even though we love Jackie Mason, this will not be “Caddyshack II.”
If you didn’t see the film – and shame on you, if you didn’t – it basically chronicled Jordan’s path from his first retirement in 1993 to his comeback in 1995. Bugs Bunny and his cohorts hire Jordan to help them in a game against aliens who want them to work in their new amusement park.
The making of the film did not make many people happy. Many critics hated it, along with Chuck Jones, the director of Looney Tunes cartoons, who despised it. But it grossed $230 million worldwide – the highest grossing hoops move of all-time.
Crash quiz: Raise your hand if you knew the other top grossing films about basketball are “White Men Can’t Jump,” “Coach Carter,” “Like Mike,” and “Hoosiers.”
All the greats were in the first “Space Jam”: Elmer Fudd, Daffy Duck, Tasmanian Devil, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Foghorn Leghorn, Pepe Le Pew and Tweetie Bird, Oh, and Larry Bird, Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing were in it, as well.
We all know that James has wanted to get into show business. That’s no big secret. And he did appear as a supporting character in Amy Schumer’s 2015 comedy, “Trainwreck.” But now, he will get his chance to star by taking on Jordan’s role in a project expected to kick off after the 2019 season.
You can understand why James would want to work with Coogler. “Black Panther” made $1.34 billion, the highest grossing film ever made by a black director. And you would have to believe the new version will also star the top players in the NBA, although we doubt guys like Spencer Dinwiddie of the Brooklyn Nets will make the cut.
“I loved his [Coogler] vision” James told The Hollwood Reporter.
James hasn’t wasted any time bringing his dream to life. NBC and The CW have announced plans to produce shows in collaboration with James’ SpringHill Entertainment.
“The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” James said. “It’s so much bigger. 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.:
Hey, maybe James can also figure out how to help the Lakers.