The long-awaited sequel to Space Jam is actually happening, and Lebron James is going to step into Michael Jordan's shoes as the film's star. With that kind of star power in front of the camera, it's not surprising to learn that one of Hollywood's most popular creators is joining the movie behind the scenes.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has signed on to produce the Space Jam sequel. Terence Nance will be directing the film, in which James is set to star. Production on the film is tentatively slated for 2019, during the NBA's offseason.
After directing the hit Rocky sequel/reboot Creed, Coogler broke records with Marvel's Black Panther earlier this year. The film made a total of $1.34 billion at the global box office, and is the highest grossing film ever made by a black director.
“I loved his vision” for Black Panther, James told The Hollywood Reporter. "So for Ryan to be able to bring that to kids, it’s amazing.”
The official Twitter account for James' production company, SpringHill Entertainment, shared the first teaser photo from the film.
For James, this will be his first big screen role since 2015, when he played himself as a supporting character in the Amy Schumer romantic comedy, Trainwreck. Having signed with the Los Angeles Lakers earlier this year, James made it clear that he's going to be taking on a bigger role in the film industry, in addition to his career on the court.
“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. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.”0comments
Talks regarding the Space Jam sequel have been popping up here and there for a number of years, with nothing ever really sticking. However, just last week, writer/host Brandon "Scoop B" Robinson assured fans that the movie was indeed still moving forward, and today's announcement definitely made good on that promise.
Are you excited for the Space Jam sequel? What other basketball stars do you want to see appear in the film? Let us know in the comments!