FILE PHOTO: Cast member Lebron James attends the premiere for the film Space Jam: A New Legacy in Los Angeles, California, U.S. July 12, 2021. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
July 13, 2021
By Rollo Ross
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – It’s been 25 years since basketball legend Michael Jordan walked off the court into his own movie in ‘Space Jam’.
Now, the ball has been lobbed to LeBron James, who like Jordan, enters the world of the Loony Tunes alongside cartoon icons Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ premiered on Monday at the L.A. Live entertainment complex in downtown Los Angeles, where James spoke to reporters about stepping into Jordan’s sneakers.
“I was extremely nervous to even redo this film,” he said. “But I put my heart into it, I put my looniness into it obviously with the Tunes and committed to it. I’m excited for what people are actually going to see.”
The purple carpet was filled with celebrities, from Zendaya, who voices Lola Bunny, and Don Cheadle, who plays villain Al G. Rhythm, to John Legend and G-Eazy, who have tracks on the film’s score. Basketball stars Klay Thompson and Anthony Davis also attended the premiere.
More family-orientated than the original ‘Space Jam’, this sequel sees James try to rescue his son Dom (Cedric Joe) by winning a basketball game with Bugs Bunny, voiced by Jeff Bergman.
When asked how this differed from the first film, Sonequa Martin-Green, who co-stars as James’ wife, said she had grown up with that movie.
“I think that film was very important and necessary for that time and so I’m hoping that this film does the same thing,” she said. “I hope it brings people together because I think it has everything it needs to be a new classic.”
James was also conscious of the legacy of this release, adding: “I hope I continue to make Michael proud. He’s someone I looked up to as a kid and hopefully this is another step in that direction.”
‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ is released in cinemas and streams on HBO Max from Friday.
(Reporting by Rollo Ross; Editing by Karishma Singh and Christian Schmollinger)