A LeBron James-starring Space Jam 2 has been in the works for years, but now it has some big names attached. As per Marisa Guthrie of The Hollywood Reporter, Ryan Coogler (known for directing Fruitvale Station, Creed, and Black Panther, with the latter grossing $1.34 billion worldwide) has come on board as producer, while Terence Nance (director of An Oversimplification Of Her Beauty and creator/director/producer of the Random Acts of Flyness TV series) will direct, and production is tentatively slated for 2019 during the NBA offseason. James told Guthrie Coogler’s Black Panther work was inspirational for him, and fits with his goal of making this an empowering movie for kids:
“I loved his vision” for Black Panther, James tells The Hollywood Reporter, noting that when he was a kid growing up in Akron, Ohio, there were no black superheroes. “So for Ryan to be able to bring that to kids, it’s amazing.”
…“The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” says James, “It’s so much bigger. I’d just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don’t just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.”
While there are still plenty of questions about this sequel, including which other NBA players will be involved and if Michael Jordan (star of the original one) will make an appearance, landing Coogler should definitely help the project’s profile. And having a director on board in Nance is a further sign that this is actually well on its way. There’s still a long time before this gets shot and a longer time still before it comes out, but this feels like good news for those interested in seeing LeBron’s take on this franchise.
[The Hollywood Reporter; photo from the Instagram account of LeBron’s company, SpringHill Entertainment]