‘Space Jam’ Director Says the LeBron James Sequel Is ‘Doomed’
We’ve long been promised / threatened a sequel to Space Jam, and Warner Bros. is determined to follow through on that plan, recently tapping Furious 6 director Justin Lin to helm the project. But the director of the original film doesn’t think any of this is a good idea; in fact, he thinks WB should go ahead and pump the brakes on Space Jam 2 before it even takes off.
LeBron James is set to star in Space Jam 2, which will presumably bring in a new batch of popular and veteran NBA stars to shoot some hoops with the classic Looney Tunes gang. Last we heard, Lin was in talks to direct the sequel, and if he’s looking for some friendly advice from a guy who knows a thing or two about directing a Space Jam, he’s not going to find it in Joe Pytka.
The director of the 1996 blockbuster had some ominous words for the sequel while speaking with THR:
Don’t do it. It’s doomed. Michael Jordan was the biggest star on the planet. When we did Space Jam, there was a perfect storm of players and ex-players available — Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing… They all had a persona that complemented the film. There are none around like that now.
Basically, Pytka thinks there aren’t enough viable current and former NBA players with the star power and charisma to make Space Jam 2 work. He may be right, as it’s hard to imagine many of today’s players actually, you know, acting in a movie — much less one that requires them to react to placeholders for animated characters that will be added in later.
But regardless of how Pytka feels, it looks like Space Jam 2 is really happening, with Lin directing from a screenplay by Bad Words scribe Andrew Dodge. WB certainly has the talent taken care of behind the camera, but what about the guys who are supposed to be in front of it?