Among the millions of people—and counting!—who might have reasonable grounds to criticize recent Warner Bros. brand vehicle/also-technically-a-movie Space Jam: A New Legacy, we’d put Joe Pytka somewhere near the bottom. After all, Pytka, as the director of 1996's original Space Jam, is pretty much the definition of a guy living in a glass house here, one who should thus be careful about where he’s chucking stones.
But the same audacity of spirit that apparently told Pytka “This Looney Tunes basketball movie needs more Wayne Knight,” has now led the director—who came to his film as a helmer of commercials and music videos—to hold forth on the topic of its successor to TMZ. And, wouldn’t you know it: Pytka’s not a fan. “The truth is that LeBron ain’t Michael,” Pytka said, drawing negative comparisons between New Legacy star LeBron James and his own star, Michael Jordan. (Pytka’s point was apparently that Jordan was one of the most famous people on the planet, period, when Space Jam came out, whereas James is… One of the most famous people on the planet, period? Also, they’re both terrible actors.) Pytka also noted that it took him 5 sessions to finish the 2-hour sequel, breaks that presumably weren’t inspired by being so excited at seeing his old pal Dr. Evil hanging out with a shaved Sylvester The Cat that he just had to get up and dance around.
Pytka had harsh words for A New Legacy’s soundtrack, its co-stars, and pretty much all of its aspects, which is pretty rough, coming from the guy who made Space Jam. Still, he reserved some of his harshest critique for its status as a Looney Tunes movie, which it just barely is in between being a kid-friendly reminder of how great LeBron James and, like, Game Of Thrones are. Calling the film’s depiction of Bugs Bunny “heartbreaking,” Pytka said that the character’s new 3D model “looked like one of those fluffy dolls you buy at an airport gift shop to bring your kid when your business trip has taken too long.”
And, again: None of this is necessarily wrong. It’s just a little rich coming from the guy who directed Space Jam.