1996’s Space Jam was a huge success, opening at #1 over the premiere weekend. The plot of the movie revolved around NBA legend Michael Jordan’s real-world retirement from the NBA. His father, Jordan, Sr., was murdered when two men robbed him. Devastated, MJ announced his retirement from basketball to pursue a career in baseball, his father’s favorite pastime.
Space Jam looked into Jordan’s career in baseball, where he’s not doing so well. He is then kidnapped by the famous Looney Tunes characters, so he can help the ‘toons win a basketball game against a group of aliens that want to enslave the ‘toons. Critics didn’t care much for the movie, but it was a hit with audiences, becoming the highest grossing basketball movie ever, earning $230 million sales worldwide. It was something different and exciting and kids and adults alike enjoyed it.
News of a sequel has floated around since 2016, and now, it’s coming to fruition. Space Jam 2 will star LeBron James and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler will produce the film.
Like Jordan before him, this is James’ first starring role and he’s optimistic that Coogler will bring the same wonder and fire to the movie, like he did with Black Panther. James seems to understand the original film’s many messages, such as learning to deal with bullies, perseverance and teaching kids the value of their worth and not to underestimate themselves. “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.” James says.