With the Los Angeles Lakers trading for Anthony Davis last week, he and LeBron James will be teammates for at least the next season, and probably for several years to come, depending on the length of their next contract extensions.
Now, the two are set to team up in a different project.
James and Davis will star in Space Jam 2, the movie sequel to the popular 1996 film that teamed up Michael Jordan with the Looney Tunes gang. Per a tweet by NBA reporter Shams Charania, James will have the starring role in the sequel, which has been in development for several years.
Davis, Damian Lillard, and Klay Thompson will also have “key roles” in the movie, as will WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and Nneka Ogwumike. Several other NBA and WNBA players are expected to have smaller parts in the film. Production is scheduled for this summer in Southern California; it’s unclear if Thompson’s recent knee injury will in any way impede his involvement in the film.
The original Space Jam movie had roles for then-NBA stars Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, and Larry Johnson, who all played themselves. It was positioned as a fictitious story that took place during Jordan’s 18-month retirement from the NBA between 1993 and 1995, when he played mid-level minor league baseball, although he had already returned to the Chicago Bulls by the time the film was released.
The news comes after reports, in April, that James was having trouble recruiting top NBA stars to appear in the Space Jam sequel, Bleacher Report reported, citing an on-air comment by ESPN’s Brian Windhorst. This mirrored what was seen at the time as James’ inability to get a second superstar to join him with the Lakers, although Anthony Davis has since rendered both of those notions moot.
That James and Davis will soon be teammates in real life doesn’t necessarily mean that the other players will be joining them as co-stars with the Lakers. Thompson, who was injured during the NBA Finals, is expected to re-sign with the Golden State Warriors, while Lillard’s contract keeps him with the Portland Trail Blazers through 2021.
In his final home game in New Orleans, Davis was spotted in a t-shirt that said “that’s all folks,” and claimed at the time (per CBS Sports) that other people lay out his clothes for him and he didn’t choose the shirt on purpose. “That’s all folks,” though, happens to be Porky Pig’s catchphrase, indicating some involvement with the Space Jam movie. Davis has also said that he’s a “big fan” of the Looney Tunes characters.
Space Jam 2 has a scheduled release date of July 16, 2021.