It’s hard to believe it’s been 25 years since that iconic soundtrack accompanied a gargantuan Michael Jordan and the Tune Squad in Space Jam. If you were old enough to have grown up watching the film, which came to be cemented as a pop culture phenomenon, you likely had the same desire as everyone in 1996: to be a basketball star, or, put simply, to be like Mike. In the years that have elapsed since, there have long been rumours of a Space Jam sequel, of another film that might see the likes of Jordan and legendary funny-man Bill Murray unite once again on the screen. But as Jordan has constantly rebuffed such considerations (and rightly so, after the success of The Last Dance it appears Jordan has his own interests to develop), audiences are finally getting their wish courtesy of LeBron James. Because if anyone can take the place of Jordan, it’s LeBron, right?
As films go, few have been subject to such scrutiny and public outrage as Space Jam: A New Legacy. When the Tune Squad uniform was first unveiled, people were quick to express their thoughts on Twitter. Some loved it, others were put off by the colour scheme. And while this all sounds trivial, you have to understand that when it comes to nostalgia, we cling firm to those films that shaped our past and as far as the new deviations we’re seeing in Space Jam: A New Legacy go, we’re going to need to let go of any and all expectations.
While it was anyone’s guess as to what direction the film would take, over the long weekend we got out first taste of the upcoming film after a two-minute, 37-second trailer was released. The teaser depicts a father-son story in which LeBron has to play basketball with an overmatched Looney Tunes squad to win back his son from captivity. It all looks pretty exciting, we’re not going to lie, but when LeBron suddenly becomes animated and winds up in Bugs Bunny’s universe only to be treated with an “Eh, what’s up, Doc?” things took a surprising turn. That’s not to say we aren’t here for it, but it did seem a unique direction to take.
It didn’t take long for players to voice their thoughts on the new trailer, with a number of NBA stars taking to Twitter to voice their support for LeBron and their excitement for the upcoming flick. Other fans of the original weighed in with their thoughts on the trailer, with some expressing their horror at finding that their kids don’t know who Bugs Bunny is. Ah, how times have changed.
The sequel will be released in theatres and HBO Max on July 16.