Audiences of a certain generation have been waiting a quarter of a century for Space Jam: A New Legacy, and many of them will now be sitting down with children of their own to watch the sequel when it arrives in theaters and on HBO Max this coming Friday. For the second installment in a family friendly update of the Looney Tunes, it hasn’t half generated plenty of online controversies.
There was the surprising revelation that Pepé Le Pew had a vociferous army of supporters, who suddenly emerged from the woodwork when it was revealed the amorous skunk had been dropped from the film. That was swiftly followed by Warner Bros. being accused of double standards when it transpired that the Droogs from A Clockwork Orange had survived the culling process.
On top of that, some folks were miffed that Lola Bunny wasn’t sexy enough anymore, and then when it was revealed Zendaya was voicing the character, the first clip of the Spider-Man star in action was greeted rather tepidly. In a new interview, the actress addressed the criticism and series of bizarre furors head on, and her response was about as diplomatic as you’d expect.
“I didn’t know that was going to happen either! I definitely know we love her, but I didn’t know it was going to be as much of a focus as it was. [Laughs] But I understand, because she’s a lovable character. She’s special to a lot of people and their childhoods and they’ve been able to grow up with her, so I get that sense of protection. I was like, listen, just as long as I did what the director and the producers and everybody wanted me to do, I’m just here to offer my services. No, but I felt really grateful just to have the opportunity.”
Throw in the threat of a boycott looming in the background after LeBron James’ divisive social media activity into the mix along with all the aforementioned incidents, and somehow circumstances have conspired to make a $160 million PG-rated hybrid of live-action and CGI perhaps the most controversial blockbuster of 2021 so far. It’ll be interesting to see how the box office is affected by this, if indeed it is at all, but we’ll be finding out in the very near future with Space Jam: A New Legacy just days away from releasing.