Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Sneaker contracts are impacting the casting on Space Jam 2

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Photo: VCG (Getty Images)

If there’s one thing that non-perverts are likely to remember about 1996's Space Jam, it’s probably that upsettingly ubiquitous R. Kelly soundtrack. Or maybe they’ll cling to the weirdness of Bill Murray and Wayne Knight just sort of “being there,” hanging out with Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd. Or that part with Michael’s Secret Stuff! Or even just that it’s not a very good movie. (Really, there are a lot of answers to this particular hypothetical.) But if you’ve already remembered all of that other stuff, you might also remember that the movie featured a wide variety of NBA superstars making cameos, mostly showing up to get their “basketball powers” sucked out by the evil Monstars.


But now, it’s sounding like that tradition might be imperiled re: LeBron James’ upcoming Space Jam 2, courtesy of a villain far more dastardly than any Danny DeVito-voiced evil business guy: Sneaker sponsorships. See, Space Jam originated, as a concept, from those old Nike “Hare Jordan” commercials, which dared to dream of a utopia in which the world’s most successful basketball player and its most wise-cracking doc-what’s-up-er could potentially interact. Nike remains involved in the production several decades later, which means that current NBA stars like Steph Curry and James Harden—whose souls belong to Under Armour and Adidas, respectively—can’t be seen being associated with a swoosh-bedecked Taz or Sylvester. (Meanwhile, Golden State Warrior Kevin Durant—who is in the Nike fold—is too busy trying to get his own film and TV projects off the ground, with or without the assistance of Marvin The Martian.)

But hey: LeBron didn’t even want those guys hanging around, anyway, alright? Per THR, the film’s script—which is being co-written by Ryan Coogler—will instead focus more on the fake family side of the famed NBA player’s life, including casting Sonequa Martin-Green as his fake wife, and a teen character, “Dom,” being pitched as the film’s secondary lead. (We don’t know how you don’t just make Porky Pig your second-in-command in this kind of situation, but apparently fake nepotism wins out.)