So far the anticipation surrounding the announced Space Jam sequel, with Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin signed on at the helm, has been slightly muted… to say the least. Following up a beloved 90s movie is not an easy task by any means, but with one as specific to its times as Space Jam was with an even more time-appropriate star as the lead in Michael Jordan, it just seems like a combination that the creative team will be hard-pressed to recapture again.
Especially if the rumors end up being true (which let’s face it, they will be) and Lebron James is cast as the athlete in the film, someone who doesn’t quite have the same universal love and appreciation that Jordan had and even continues to have in pop culture today.
The original film’s director warned as much several months ago as well, and during a recent appearance where he was addressing a group of youths, Michael Jordan himself was asked who he’d pick to be the lead in the sequel. His answer may surprise you too (via Dime Magazine):
I bet you probably weren’t expecting to hear Blake Griffin be Jordan’s pick, were you? It’s not hard to see why either considering Griffin’s popularity and public persona has been slightly down due to his missing several months of this last NBA season after breaking his hand on a Clippers trainer’s face.
With that being said, Griffin was the star of the Jordan shoe line’s Space Jam video last year in promotion of their Super.Fly signature shoe line, and is also one of the best players in the game right now, so Jordan’s affinity towards the idea of Griffin replacing him in the sequel isn’t all that unexpected when you really think about it. Considering some of the other names being floated around right now to headline the project though, he certainly seems like one of the more out-of-the-box choices, especially since Lebron seems all-but-confirmed to be the lead in the film. Whether some of you like it or not, I guess.
Space Jam 2 does not currently have a release date.
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