LeBron James, throughout his basketball career, has been seen as responsible for several different coaching changes on his different teams. Now, the equivalent appears to have happened on the NBA superstar’s movie.
Space Jam 2, which is scheduled to begin production this week, was to be directed by Terence Nance, the director responsible for HBO’s Random Acts of Flyness. But, per Deadline, Nance is out as director and has been replaced by Malcolm D. Lee, the director best known for The Best Man, Girls Trip, and Night School.
According to the report, the change in the director’s chair is due to “different takes on the creative vision” for the upcoming sequel to 1996’s Michael Jordan/Looney Tunes team-up Space Jam. The parting was also described as “amicable.”
LeBron James is a producer on the film, as is Black Panther and Creed director Ryan Coogler.
In addition to Bugs Bunny and the other Looney Tunes perennials, Space Jam 2 is set to star James as well as actors Sonequa Martin-Green and Don Cheadle. A long list of NBA and WNBA players are also set to appear in the film, including James’ new L.A. Lakers teammate Anthony Davis as well as Klay Thompson, Chris Paul, Damian Lillard, Diana Taurasi, and Nneka Ogwumike.
Last month, Steph Curry announced that he had turned down the chance to make a cameo in the new Space Jam film, per The Inquisitr. Curry cited “scheduling issues,” including business obligations, travel to China, and other entertainment industry ventures as his reasons for declining to take part in the movie.
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) July 16, 2019
The original Space Jam came out in the fall of 1996 and featured Michael Jordan helping Bugs Bunny and friends to defeat the Monstars, a group of aliens who had stolen the basketball abilities of several other NBA stars at the time (Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, and Larry Johnson). Other cast members included Bill Murray, Wayne Knight, and Theresa Randle.
The film, arriving a year and a half after Jordan returned from his 18-month first retirement from basketball, incorporated the player’s sojourn into minor league baseball into the plot. The film was not a sizable hit when it was first released, but grew into a cult favorite over time.
Malcolm D. Lee, a cousin of Spike Lee, has directed 10 films. His other credits include Welcome Home, Roscoe Jenkins, Undercover Brother, The Best Man Holiday, Soul Man, and Barbershop: The Next Cut. Girls Trip, released in 2017, grossed more than $100 million.