There have been rumblings for the past few years that a sequel to Space Jam featuring Lebron James was a possibility. Now it appears the long rumored follow up to the 1996 smash is becoming a reality. The sequel will be directed by Justin Lin, who also was in the director’s chair for Star Trek Beyond.
Not everyone is in favor the film; in fact someone with intimate knowledge of Space Jam who’s telling the producers of this project to do an about face. That someone is the director of the original movie, Joe Pytka, who,offers the following advice to the makers of this sequel:
“Don’t do it. It’s doomed. Michael Jordan was the biggest star on the planet”
He says this because it’s very arguable that it is now Stephen Curry and not James whose NBA star shines brightest.
Pytka wasn’t done, he explained the difference between the original and the upcoming movie:
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
Is Pytka wrong? That will remain to be seen until the finished product is a reality, but as someone who grew up on the original, my gut tells me this will be an absolute train wreck. Lebron is not bad in front of the camera; his performance in Trainwreck exceeded my expectations, but Space Jam was not a movie that required a sequel. As Mr. Pytka stated, there was a perfect storm of people and events that came together to make that film what is was. I do not see that this time around. It will be forced and that in and of itself will likely turn people, I think particularly those of my generation, off from the film. While I can’t say a movie that hasn’t even started production sucks, I’ll await the outcome of this project with optimistic skepticism, as this film has mighty big sneakers to fill.