We’ve been hearing about Space Jam sequel, Space Jam: A New Legacy, since 2014, and it’s still tough to believe it’s a real movie coming out this year. But the Looney Tunes gang and LeBron James are, indeed, heading to the basketball court on July 16—making our second pandemic summer perhaps a bit more tolerable. James and Warner Bros. have been tight lipped about the movie for years, but today Entertainment Weekly published an interview with the NBA star that revealed plenty of daffy plot details.
This time, it’s a father-son story, but in case you thought that meant the sequel’s plot wouldn’t be as ridiculous as the original Space Jam’s...well, you’ll have to read the plot for yourself:
Playing a heightened version of himself, James struggles to relate to [his son,] Dom (Cedric Joe), who’s much more interested in creating games than playing them. When Dom’s tech skills draw the attention of a CGI humanoid named Al G Rhythm (Don Cheadle), the father-son duo get sucked into the Warner 3000 entertainment “Server-verse,” with the A.I. kidnapping Dom in the hopes of stealing some of the King’s followers (IRL he has about 80 million on Instagram).
And it only gets wilder from there. When James gets sucked into the Warner Bros. server, he finds himself in some of the studio’s biggest movies while trying to track down the Goon Squad. Director Malcolm D. Lee tells EW that “it was a tricky thing just in terms of what you may want, like, ‘Oh my God, look, there’s Mad Max, and there’s Casablanca!’” James also mentions The Matrix and Wonder Woman as part of that sequence. Lee adds that the sequel will “have a lot of the WB characters at the game, watching like they do at Rucker Park.”
In the EW interview, Don Cheadle says he doesn’t consider Al G Rhythm to be a “bad guy” (With that name, would he even be that intimidating?), but rather “an A.I. with a chip on his shoulder.” We have so many questions though: How would Al G Rhythm get away with stealing James’ followers? Wouldn’t they think, “Who the hell is this guy and why am I following him?” And wouldn’t they just re-follow James?
In case you were wondering what this has to do with basketball, EW’s Derek Lawrence explains that “to save his son and escape this virtual reality, James must round up the Tunes, including a banished Bugs Bunny, to defeat the formidable Goon Squad.” It still makes no sense, but alright. Anything goes in the Looney Tunes world.
The silver lining thing is that everyone involves seems to deeply care about the original Space Jam. Producer Ryan Coogler told EW that he “proudly recalls performing the film’s track ‘Hit ‘Em High’ at his middle school talent show” and James says “The Goon Squad is probably the best team ever assembled in basketball history.”