The Looney Tunes have been phasing out guns from their hijinks, but apparently, that doesn't apply to Space Jam: A New Legacy. A trailer for the upcoming movie dropped on Saturday morning, and fans noticed that Yosemite Sam was not shy with his revolvers. It has some questioning whether the other characters will be sticking to their guns as well.
A new Looney Tunes series premiered on HBO Max last year, and at the time Second Amendment advocates were up in arms about the fact that Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam would no longer be wielding guns. At the time, executive producer Peter Browngardt told The New York Times that the show was "doing guns" because of all the mass shootings and gun violence around the country. They felt that the weapons carried too much connotation, and the show should stick to "cartoony violence." Either that concern doesn't apply to Space Jam, or the producers there didn't get the memo.
At the 1-minutes, 20-second mark of the trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy, the Looney Tunes stand in some kind of spaceship basketball court trying to prove their worthiness to LeBron James. Daffy Duck checks a basketball towards Yosemite Sam, saying: "Sam, shoot the ball." The prospector responds by whipping out his pistols and firing several shots into the basketball — and the duck behind it.
"Let's try that again, shall we?" Daffy says dryly, through a cracked and misshapen beak. This kind of humor was typical of Looney Tunes for decades, where guns were a huge part of the slapstick antics. However, the first season of Looney Tunes Cartoons on HBO Max was gun-free.
While the guns may be back, the long-awaited Space Jam sequel is still breaking new ground in plenty of other regards. The new movie shows the Looney Tunes characters rendered in 3-D using CGI, with rippling fur and wind-blown rabbit ears. They play on a high-tech basketball court surrounded by other characters from the Warner Bros. pantheon — from Game of Thrones to the Iron Giant, and so on.
Fans have had mixed reactions to this new direction so far, but most are still cautiously optimistic on social media. Space Jam: A New Legacy premieres in theaters and on HBO Max on Friday, July 16.