A sequel to the 1996 basketball movie Space Jam has been in the works for years, and superstar LeBron James has been chosen to step into the lead (human) role and replace original star Michael Jordan. But the sequel won’t just be referred to as the generic Space Jam 2: instead, it’ll be called Space Jam: A New Legacy, which is one of the most uninspired movie titles in recent memory.
Space Jam: A New Legacy
The Space Jam sequel has a new title:#SpaceJam A New Legacy, ushered in by LeBron James and Bugs Bunny in 2021. pic.twitter.com/JvQttk10cU
— Fandango (@Fandango) April 30, 2020
Seriously: it’s been almost 25 years since the first movie, and “A New Legacy” was the best they could come up with? It’s so bland. It’s so bland, in fact, that it doesn’t even deserve the italics in that previous sentence. This is a movie with Looney Tunes in it, for God’s sake! Why not embrace the wackiness inherent in their involvement? This feels like a committee slapped together a subtitle that could apply to just about any franchise sequel of the past two decades of Hollywood blockbusters. This is an airball, as far as I’m concerned.
The original Space Jam is fiercely beloved by an entire generation – I really liked it as a kid – but when viewed without nostalgia goggles on, that movie is truly godawful. (I highly recommend listening to the How Did This Get Made? episode about it.) At least green screen technology has improved considerably since then, so LeBron James shouldn’t look as out of his element as Jordan did carrying on a conversation with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. And James, who had a strong supporting role in Trainwreck, has solid comedic timing and can clearly thrive when he’s given the right material. But if this new title is indicative of the level of creativity that flows through the script, we’re in trouble.
Terence Nance was originally set to direct, but last summer he was replaced by Malcolm D. Lee (Girls Trip, The Best Man, Night School), and we’re expecting more of a conventional studio film since this movie is now in Lee’s hands. Space Jam: A New Legacy (sorry, I fell asleep typing that title) is currently scheduled to hit theaters on July 16, 2021, but since the pandemic has caused a domino effect of movie release dates, it’s unclear if it will end up holding that spot or shifting to a later spot on the calendar.
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