Space Jam: Bill Murray Wasn't Originally in the Final Basketball Game

He may not have scored any points for the Tune Squad in their big game against the Monstars, but Bill Murray came up clutch when it mattered most, helping to secure victory for Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes at the end of Space Jam. Murray entered the game in the final seconds, stealing the ball back for the Tune Squad and dishing the game-winning assist to MJ, show stretched out for his famous last-second dunk. The Tune Squad wouldn't have won without Murray, so it may come as a surprise to learn that he wasn't originally part of that final game.

Ahead of Space Jam's 25th anniversary, and the release of Space Jam: A New Legacy, director Joe Pytka spoke with EW about that Jordan's iconic dunk. When breaking down the scene, Pytka explained that Murray was only supposed to be in the golf scene at the beginning of the film. Jordan had to convince Murray to even be in the movie in the first place.

However, after learning that the cartoon Monstars were being portrayed by big men in green suits on the actual court, Murray wanted to join in the fun of the scene. He asked to take part and a new scene for him was written that day.

"Murray asked, 'How are you doing the green screen?'" Pytka explained. "I told him, and his eyes lit up. He says, 'On Ghostbusters we had to look at dots on the wall.' He sneaks over to [Ghostbusters director and Space Jam producer] Ivan Reitman, and all of a sudden he's in the last scene. That day we quickly wrote and shot something to set it up."

It's hard to think about what Space Jam would be like without that final entrance from Murray. His appearance on the court remains a favorite moment amongst fans to this day, and his play is really what helped seal the win for Jordan. There likely would've been someone else there to help out the Tune Squad, but no one really stacks up to Bill Murray.

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