“This isn’t anywhere yet but Klay Thompson is locked in to appear in Space Jam 2,” FOX Sports Radio’s Jason McIntyre said when reporting Thompson could join the Lakers in free agency. “He’s from around here, his dad is a Lakers announcer... I think there is a legit chance he winds up there.”
In January, studio Warner Bros. was reported to be eyeing a June 17 shooting start for the James vehicle teaming the NBA superstar with the Looney Tunes. Black Panther director Ryan Coogler acts as producer on the Terence Nance-directed half-animated, half live-action sequel to the 1996 hit that starred Michael Jordan.
The first Space Jam saw aliens steal the basketball prowess of the NBA’s top talent to challenge the Looney Tunes in a high-stakes basketball game.
“The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” James previously told THR. “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.”
James added he’s “humbled” to take over from Michael Jordan, the first NBA star recruited to help rescue the Looney Tunes from extraterrestrial enslavement in the original film that co-starred Bill Murray and Wayne Knight. The film proved a sizable hit and instant pop culture icon, grossing $230 million worldwide.
"I always wanted to be a superhero. Batman was my favorite. But I knew I could never be Bruce Wayne. You've got to understand, for me that was in no way possible; I never felt like I could be the president of a multibillion-dollar company,” James said in September when praising Coogler, who delivered a slam dunk with $1.3 billion Marvel grosser Black Panther.
“[Coogler] gave this generation’s kids something I didn’t have when I was a kid, and that’s a superhero movie with an African-American cast.”
James previously appeared in episodes of Entourage and SpongeBob SquarePants before starring as a version of himself in Judd Apatow’s Trainwreck, where he appeared opposite Amy Schumer and Bill Hader. He most recently loaned his voice to Warner Animation Group’s Smallfoot.
Sonequa Martin-Green (The Walking Dead, Star Trek: Discovery) will co-star.
Space Jam 2 opens July 16, 2021.