Space Jam: A New Legacy's Don Cheadle on Why He Wanted to Join the Sequel

The world of Space Jam is finally returning to the big screen this summer. The long-awaited to sequel, Space Jam: A New Legacy, sees LeBron James taking over for Michael Jordan and putting together the Tune Squad for another basketball game with major implications. This time, however, the team will be facing a new kind of enemy. Marvel Cinematic Universe star Don Cheadle is playing the antagonist in Space Jam: A New Legacy, and he's a very different kind of villain than we saw in the first movie.

Al G Rhythm is the name of Cheadle's character, and he's an artificial intelligence humanoid that brings James and his son into the Warner Bros. "Server-Verse." During a recent interview with EW, Cheadle talked about what drew him to the new role.

"What was pitched to me, what they wanted to do with my character, what was going to happen with LeBron, the conceit of the film and the opportunity to take a classic title like that and do another spin on it with the latest GOAT, being LeBron, I just thought, 'Hey, this is cool,'" Cheadle said. "To get to play this really innovative character, which I don't even know how much I can talk about, or what you know. But I just thought it was going to be a cool family story with LeBron and a cool character to play opposite him."

Unlike Danny DeVito's Swackhammer, the villain from the first Space Jam, Cheadle's character requires a live-action performance.

"Al G Rhythm, I guess we can say in some ways is LeBron's nemesis, but I don't think he sees himself in that way," Cheadle added. "People are like, 'Is he the bad guy?' and I'm like, 'I don't know if he's the bad guy.' But he and LeBron do find themselves on opposite ends of the situation."

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Space Jam: A New Legacy arrives on HBO Max and in theaters on July 16th.