Space Jam 2 Is Coming, But Will It Be Good?
So, Space Jam 2. LeBron James. It’s going down.
This might come as exciting news for the many who look fondly upon the 1996 original, which starred Michael Jordan and was accompanied by a six times platinum soundtrack anchored by the pre-peeing-on-you R. Kelly hit, “I Believe I Can Fly.”
And there’s probably plenty 30-somethings who can fondly reminisce on how much easier life was when that movie came out; it clocked more than $230 million worldwide, becoming the most successful basketball-themed movie of all time (somehow, it beat out Sunset Park).
The easy part of this remake is LeBron James; many consider him the heir apparent to Jordan, who is still the greatest NBA player of all time two decades after the film. James is past the prime of his NBA career, as Jordan was past his in ’96, and his presence in last year’s Trainwreck proved he can hold his own on screen.
What isn’t so easy, however, are the Looney Tunes characters. Some context, the Looney Tunes shorts were introduced 86 years ago, and the ones that us pre-Millennials grew up watching in syndication had stopped being made before the 1970s started. The target audience of the original film was intimately familiar with Bugs Bunny’s insouciance, Daffy Duck’s lunacy, and Porky Pig’s veiled homosexuality.
I haven’t seen a Looney Tune repeat on television in many years, which leads me to believe the kids aren’t watching them either. That might be a problem, considering the original Space Jam is a distinctly children’s film that I don’t think was quite as enjoyable for adults, unlike, say, Zootopia.
Also, what group of NBA players will join LeBron in the battle against whatever the Monstars look like in the 21st Century? Steph Curry is kicking way too much ass in the league to get distracted by this right now – Kevin Durant? Chris Bosh, perhaps?
Nostalgic remakes have not been the best of looks for Hollywood in general – tons of films and television shows of late have reminded those of us with graying beards how cool it was to be a child during an era where you went outside and actually played, but most of them aren’t actually that good.
The Rock is starring in a film version of “Baywatch,” which may as well go straight to video since the only reason we watched that show was to, umm, do things that involved solitude and lotion bottles. The live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles remake was buttwater, but somehow managed enough ticket sales to warrant a sequel. The “Full House” remake on Netflix…? Hard pass, even with little Stephanie Tanner’s boob job.
And then there was Jem and the Holograms, the movie adaptation of a show which I loved in the 1980s despite being a heterosexual male. It achieved nearly unprecedented levels of failure.
I’m not completely writing off Space Jam 2, but I can’t think off the top of my head of a ’90s remake that actually worked wonders (though I’m sure you’ll remind me in the comments section). Maybe Bill Murray reprising his role as “Bill Murray” would get my behind in a movie seat to see it.
One thing’s for certain, though: new R. Kelly music…? Bad idea.