The trailer for Space Jam 2 — formally titled Space Jam: A New Legacy — dropped on Saturday, and it, of course, featured characters from Looney Tunes. However, characters from numerous other Warner Bros. properties also appeared. One of the properties was A Clockwork Orange, the 1971 Stanley Kubrick movie based on the book of the same name by Anthony Burgess. Specifically, a group of background actors were dressed as "droogs," the slang name for the gang led by Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell).
While WB wanting to utilize an iconic property like A Clockwork Orange isn't surprising, it is somewhat strange that the droogs are in a family film like the Space Jam sequel. It is even odder given the public axing of Pepe Le Pew's scenes from the movie. Pepe Le Pew has been branded as a problematic character due to his unwanted romantic advances on Penelope Pussycat, which critics say sets a bad example for kids when it comes to consent. With the minds behind Space Jam: A New Legacy taking that mindset when it comes to the cartoon skunk, it's a bit weird that the Clockwork Orange droogs are featured. In the source material, the gang attacks, rapes and murders victims in shocking fashion.
After the trailer's release, many critics found it odd that Pepe was removed due to his exploits, but the gang was not. Furthermore, using such an older property with such mature themes seems odd, regardless of the Pepe situation. Scroll through to see social media users are reacting to the droogs' presence in the movie.
Why is the gang from A CLOCKWORK ORANGE in SPACE JAM 2?! What is this movie? pic.twitter.com/Ez0eDyBBPG— Jamie Lovett (@JamieLovett) April 3, 2021
"Ah yes, a bit of the old ultra-violence in the looney tunes basketball kids movie, love to see it," one sarcastic Twitter user wrote. A second person tweeted, "Someone was like 'yo lets put that whacky british rape gang in this kids movie.'"prevnext
I can see why Space Jam 2 has been trending today.
Wow really? Pepe Le Pew was problematic, but Clockwork Orange was cool? https://t.co/oJ15blcBix— J-Step (@j_step21) April 3, 2021
"Nothing says family fun like murdering rapists,' a third person wrote. "Gonna be a hard pass on this one..."prevnext
How it started. How it’s going pic.twitter.com/fCsBK4Tlaw— Jason (@jasonosia) April 3, 2021
"I find it hilarious that Warner Bros made a big point about getting rid of Pepe Le Pew because of how rapey he was but gave the greenlight to include characters who are actual rapists in said film. Hilarious," another person wrote.prevnext
How did Pepe get the boot but no one saw a problem with characters from Clockwork Orange being there?! https://t.co/kf6MTom7dE— The Intersectional Anansesem (@TaranTrinnaman) April 3, 2021
"Because kids LOVE Clockwork Orange, right???" yet another Twitter user quipped. "Seriously though why is a movie about rape and ultraviolence doing having a cameo in this kids movie lmao."prevnext
lol at deciding to feature the droogs courtside in the new Space Jam movie pic.twitter.com/zotbPDlAV8— FLACs Headroom (@fraulstothewall) April 3, 2021
"Pepe Le Pew being cut from Space Jam 2 but the rapists from A Clockwork Orange showing up is peak corporate wokeness," a critic added. Another irked onlooker added, "But remember...the cartoon skunk was the real problem."prevnext
pepe le pew never actually gang raped anyone on screen from what I remember so this choice seems odd https://t.co/guuyfPNFnN— Eli (@NeilTheAssTyson) April 4, 2021
"It’s like they never saw, A Clockwork Orange, when they decided to make this film," another person tweeted. An additional onlooker wrote, "very funny to me that clockwork orange and game of thrones characters are in a movie that pepe le pew was too inappropriate for."prevnext
Did anyone at Warner Brothers ever watch A Clockwork Orange? Do they know these guys are gang rapists? pic.twitter.com/ZUoIsph8HP— The Serfs (@theserfstv) April 3, 2021
"Others have pointed this out but by holy s—. #SpaceJamANewLegacy got rid of pepe le pew for coming off as rapey but decided to include characters who are actual rapists in the film," yet another person pointed out. "How do you f— up that bad?"prev