After years of speculation, the Looney Tunes squad is returning to the court under the tutelage of LeBron James. Ryan Coogler (Creed, Black Panther) will produce and Terence Nance will direct. To be HONEST, I know I MAY GET A LOT OF groans BUT.. I’ve never seen part 1! But anyways, back to this SEQUEL.
Production on the Warner Bros. film is tentatively slated for 2019, during the NBA off-season. It will be James’ first starring role after a successful turn as a supporting character in the 2015 Amy Schumer comedy Trainwreck.
Getting Coogler, whose credits also include Creed and Fruitvale Station, is a coup. The director is among the industry’s most sought-after artists. Not only did Black Panther break ground as a superhero movie from a black perspective with a black cast, but it has set a number of box-office benchmarks on its way to grossing $1.34 billion worldwide, including becoming the highest-grossing film ever by a black director.
“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.”
Space Jam has been long-rumored, with various directors and writers attached to the project over the years, including at one point Justin Lin, the action auteur behind the Fast & Furious movies. The movement on the project coincides with James’ recent surge in Hollywood film and TV projects as a producer. Just last week, NBC and The CW announced separate shows in development with James’ SpringHill Entertainment.
“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.” [THR]