The Toon Squad are back for Space Jam: A New Legacy, a sequel to the hit 90s Looney Tunes/basketball mashup that’s been 25 years in the making. This time, LeBron James is filling in for Michael Jordan as the NBA star who teams up with the classic animated characters when they’re in trouble and while Warner Bros. hasn’t revealed a whole lot about the movie so far, James has now given us our first plot details.
The athlete appeared on a recent episode of Road Trippin’ and opened up about the pic, stressing that we shouldn’t be thinking of A New Legacy as just Space Jam 2. That said, it’ll still broadly follow the same premise as the original.
“It’s not a sequel,” James clarified. “It’s called Space Jam: A New Legacy, it’s not called Space Jam 2. There will be a basketball game, I’ll say that. And there will be some people that are a little out of this world that we’re competing against.”
In the 1996 movie, Bugs Bunny’s Toon Squad faced off against the alien Monstars, who had stolen the talent of the NBA’s best players, in a basketball game to decide whether they would be enslaved in an alien amusement park. When asked if the Monstars will again be the opponents in A New Legacy, James suggested that it’ll feature a different group of evil extraterrestrials. “You can call them that. They have a different name. I won’t give the name,” he teased.
To the sports star, though, A New Legacy is really a family movie and is grounded in a story about father-son bonding.
“But it’s more of a family movie,” he continued. “It’s a parenting movie between me and my son, and me trying to demand my son to do something because I was taught that way growing up. Demand my son to play basketball. ‘This is what you’re gonna do, this is how you’re gonna do it.’ And me as a parent not listening to my son and not believing in what my son is actually great at. It’s a tackling between me being a parent and supporting my son, and my son basically turning off at some point and me trying to regain that trust throughout the movie. Along with the great Bugs Bunny, and Lola, and Taz, and Tweety. All of them.”
The original Space Jam did something similar. Jordan’s arc in the movie saw him inspired to return to basketball after his brief switch of career to baseball following his experiences with Bugs and the gang. It looks like James’ time with the toons will help him connect with his son, but it’ll also include a lot of cartoon crossovers. Not to mention a few cameos from some other iconic characters.
Co-starring Sonequa Martin-Green and Don Cheadle, Space Jam: A New Legacy is due to dunk into theaters on July 16th, 2021.