Work on the sequel to the classic live-action and animation hybrid Space Jam seems to have hit a few snags, but the acclaimed director of Marvel's Black Panther is trying to get it back on track. According to a new report, Ryan Coogler is rewriting the script for Space Jam 2, in addition to his duties as Executive Producer.
NBA superstar LeBron James will take over for Michael Jordan in the movie, teaming with the Looney Toons to take on a new threat in an epic basketball game. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Coogler is teaming with Searching writer Sev Ohanian for the script.
But in addition to script rewrites, the movie is apparently having trouble securing the talents of more basketball players to fill out the rest of the cast.
According to the report, players like Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, and James Harden — some of the most popular players in the NBA other than LeBron himself — are unlikely to appear in Space Jam 2 because of existing shoe deals.
LeBron has a lifetime deal with Nike, giving him his own signature shoe line and clothing. Nike was also pivotal to the original Space Jam, with the film being based on the "Hare Jordan" commercial that saw the basketball legend team up with Bugs Bunny for the first time.
Curry is currently signed with Under Armour for his apparel deal, while Harden is with Adidas. This makes their involvement with Space Jam 2 unlikely, and though Durant has a Nike deal alongside LeBron, he's currently pursuing his own entertainment opportunities.
The THR report indicates that involvement from other superstars might not be as important as it was in the previous film, as Space Jam 2 will focus instead on LeBron's family dynamic as opposed to the talents of a group of All Star basketball players.
Sonequa Martin-Green was recently cast for Space Jam 2, in which she will play LeBron's wife. And despite the lack of casting in the basketball department, Terence Nance is expected to begin production on the film in July after the NBA's postseason ends.
Space Jam 2 is currently scheduled to release in theaters on July 16, 2021
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