Remember, it’s LI, not 51. Arabic numerals have no place on a Fox network.
It was announced yesterday that Space Jam 2 is actually happening, as news broke that Justin Lin signed on to co-write and direct the sequel to 1996’s box office hit starring Michael Jordan. LeBron James, long-rumored to be involved in the project, is reportedly set to star.
Although still in its early stages, the film’s plot and several production photos have leaked via a Warner Bros. email hack, similar to what happened to Sony Pictures a little over a year ago.
Transcript of the leaked email from a Warner Bros. development executive:
“Ok listen up, my Warner BROS! Space Jam 2 is a GO. We got the dude that made more than half of the Fast & Furious movies to direct, so you know it’s gonna be SICK! His films have grossed over $2 billion worldwide…get ready to BANK! Now, because this is a sequel (and we’re HOLLYWOOD, baby!), there’s no need to get creative or think outside the box. We’re just gonna do the SAME exact thing. Except with LeBron James. Check out the attached photos for deets. Alright…THAT’S ALL FOLKS! Haha, get it?!?! Man, I’m legit LOLing right now.”
The email also included the following images, which we have broken down to reveal your exclusive first look at Space Jam 2.
Everybody get up, it’s time to slam now!
Like Jordan in the first film, it opens with LeBron James enjoying himself during a round of golf. His publicist, played by none other than Kevin Hart (makes total sense, as he’s very popular amongst NBA players and is already scheduled to star in another film with James), attempts to take his photo. As die-hard Space Jam fans, we all know what happens next– LeBron gets pulled into a hole and enters the Tunes world!
LeBron meets the whole Looney Tunes gang, just like Mike. (So great to see Beaky Buzzard still getting work!) Bugs Bunny informs James that the evil Mr. Swackhammer is back and threatening their freedom once again. The Tunes need LeBron’s help in a high-stakes basketball game, because that’s the only way they know how to settle political discourse. This time, though, a secret group of Monstars is forming–but not from the stolen talent of washed-up pros like Charles Barkley (definitely not Shawn Bradley; they know they blew it last time!)
The Looney Tunes look very desperate and, based off LeBron’s look, are coming off as REAL thirsty. They almost have a Cleveland vibe to them, down to the Nike banner hanging on the side of one of their buildings. King James initially agrees to help, but he also realizes he’s being courted by several suitors, which leads to…
The Decision! LeBron shuns the Tune Squad and decides to test the free agency market. He holds an intergalactically-televised special hosted by Jim Gray (real-life alien), where he announces he’s going to “take his talents to
South Beach Moron Mountain.” All of the Looney Tunes are heartbroken, except Taz, who loses his shit (classic). He rips up and devours every single LeBron James Tune Squad jersey in town.
Key factors in LeBron choosing the Monstars over the Tune Squad:
- Full control of basketball operations/front office decisions (leading to the immediate firing of Swackhammer)
- Billions of marketing opportunities throughout the galaxy (the Looney Tunes’ animated world, while boasting no state income tax, is hidden deep in the center of the Earth)
- Most importantly — the promise of special powers to restore his hairline
This is the point in the movie when LeBron James will become the villain. He joins the Monstars, which turn out to be a superteam composed of his closest buddies: Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. (We also find out that they’ve been planning this since the 2008 Olympics.)
A Monstars montage follows as they show off their basketball skills, hang out and make a wine toast (sans Bosh). They eventually face off against the Tune Squad, who remain hopeless–despite winning a warm-up game against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Monstars blow them out BADLY in the first half. Nothing can help the Tune Squad at this point, not even their countless ACME products (deftly handled by Justin Lin and his special effects team) nor the 50-point basket from MTV’s Rock N’ Jock (which makes a glorious and well-deserved cameo).
But then, just when it looks like it’s all over and nothing can save the Looney Tunes….
It’s Steph Curry! He shows up at the last minute–ala Bill Murray–and aids Jordan with some razzle dazzle plays and leads the Tune Squad to victory. (Also, “Steph Curry” sounds a lot like “Bill Murray,” making it extremely easy for casting.) The animated crowd loves him, and real audiences will too, as his small frame makes him more relatable to children (as well as most male NBA fans).
The loss provides a valuable lesson to LeBron James: his greedy quest for supremacy led to his fall from grace and subsequent loss of power; now he has no choice but to cede the throne to the NBA’s new heir apparent. The final shot of the movie looks like it will also play off the original’s Larry Bird/Bill Murray ending. In this version, Michael Jordan returns to the Space Jam franchise to deliver the final blow as LeBron watches Steph Curry get all the glory:
Jordan: What’s the matter, LeBron?
James: (crying) MJ, that could have been me.
Jordan: Will you get off that kick? It’s over, it’s done with.
James: (beat, sniffle) Ok…
The film ends as a Drake remix of Seal’s remix of Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like An Eagle” plays over clips of Curry and the Golden State Warriors dominating the league for the next five years. Space Jam 2 can’t come to theaters soon enough!
Eddie Mujica is an actor, writer, and 3-point shooter. He is an alum of The Second City in Chicago and currently lives in LA. As a Heat fan, he wishes LeBron James nothing but the best. Follow him @mooheekah.