Whatever happened to Space Jam 2?
When reports circulated about LeBron James following in the footsteps of his childhood idol Michael Jordan on the big-screen by playing basketball alongside the Looney Tunes, the mixed reaction of “Yays” and “Boos” flooded the Internet and overwhelmed social media. However, in the time that has passed since then, there has not been hardly any discussion or finalized details about Space Jam 2.
Apparently, according to a recent interview with director Justin Lin, there has been no news about Space Jam 2 simply because of a timing issue that has put production on hold for now.
The 45-year-old director (whose resume includes four installments of the Fast & Furious franchise) opened up about the “timing” issue in an interview with Slash Film. According to Lin, the delays do not have anything to do with Warner Bros. On the contrary, the studio has already given Justin Lin the green light and has essentially been pushing him to move Space Jam 2 forward to the next stage. It seems to be a “not you, it’s me” scenario with Justin being the one to put things on hold – not the studio.
“Everybody at the studio’s been calling, ‘Let’s go, let’s go,’ and I’m like, ‘[It’s] not right yet.'”
Lin further breaks down the reasoning for the Space Jam 2 production delay into four parts:
- Professional Athletes: Since the actors are professional athletes, Lin states that nailing down a schedule is “tough.”
- Timing: Lin apparently wants to take an artistic and somewhat revolutionary approach to making Space Jam 2 – expressing his desire to “push that genre” while needing “the right amount of time” to do so.
‘Space Jam 2’ starring LeBron James is officially happening pic.twitter.com/1XLzjURNk2
— Earlene Blackmar (@EarleneBlackmar) July 28, 2017
Perhaps the most substantial reason that will have most Space Jam fans and critics nodding their heads in agreement along with Justin Lin is the element of creativity.
“There’s a logistical challenge but also creatively to do a sequel 20 years later with a new cast and also to be able to, in a relevant way, bring the Looney Tunes back. That’s very important to me to do it right. I feel I’ve done nine different iterations already, and we’re going to keep going, but we’re getting closer every day.”
In addition, Lin’s fourth reason – but perhaps its most important factor – deals directly with the current star of Space Jam 2: Cleveland Cavaliers star and future NBA Hall of Famer LeBron James.
Lin referred to the experience as a “different challenge” between Space Jam with Michael Jordan and Space Jam 2 with LeBron James primarily because of the stage of their career at the time of filming. Michael Jordan was experiencing what would become his first of three retirements from the NBA at the time that he worked on Space Jam.
I even checked Space Jam for verification, but yep, it was the Tune Squad (not the Toon Squad, like I thought). pic.twitter.com/TGki4NZn8F
— Ann Marie (@annmariebrok) July 28, 2017
In addition, there was a strike in place which freed up the other NBA stars’ time a bit to help out. On the other hand, it is crystal clear that LeBron James is nowhere near retiring and hopefully there will not be a strike in the near future.
Fortunately, Justin Lin is not worried about putting Space Jam 2 on hold simply because of what he has learned over the years as a filmmaker.
“From what I’ve learned in film, you have to be passionate, and when you’re ready, you’ll make it happen.”
The original Space Jam was released in November 1996. With an estimated budget of $80 million, the Joe Pytka-directed film generated $230.4 million at the box-office – including $90.4 million from domestic ticket sales alone. Chances are that (as long as it is done correctly) Space Jam 2 could possibly become another blockbuster hit movie for Warner Bros and Justin Lin. However, as Lin expressed in the interview, logistics and creativity are two key pieces of the puzzle that must first be in place.
[Featured Image by Ben Margot/AP Images]