It's been almost 30 years since Space Jam, starring Michael Jordan and all of his Looney Tunes friends, first hit theaters. With the first movie cementing itself into the catalog of popular culture following its 1996 debut and long-serving as a favorite among audiences, fans have since questioned whether a second Space Jam would ever come to fruition. More importantly and in light of Jordan's retirement, who would the star player be? That time has finally come and fans are eager for June 16, 2021, because LeBron James is hitting the big screen as he wrangles up the Looney band to tackle a new challenge in Space Jam: A New Legacy.
During an exclusive interview, cast members including, Sonequa Martin-Green (Kamiyah James), and Cedric Joe (Dom James), along with director Malcolm D. Lee, all touched on what it was like working with the NBA legend and what it was like working on the new feature film that carries so much history already. "It was great!" Martin-Green gushed when asked what it was like working with the Lakers star. "You know, I was really impressed with his preparedness. I think he knew what exactly was going to be expected from him." James not only had to come prepared for the sake of his cast members, but for fans as well.
The '90s original has carried a legacy of its own throughout the last 25 years with an NBA champion like Jordan helping shape that film into what it is today. Knowing that James was going to be taking over for that and creating brand new content within the Space Jam world, he certainly had big shoes to fill. However, his cast members didn't doubt him for a second. "I think he knew that carrying a film is a big deal and a big responsibility and of course he's used to carrying and use to being a leader and he brought that, he brought that to the film, and he was ready, 110 percent prepared," the Star Trek: Discovery star detailed. After all, he's known for leading his teams, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat and his current team the Los Angeles Lakers.
Cedric, who plays James' son in the film added to Martin-Green's sentiments noting how James made the process "smooth" for everyone, but also gushed over how incredible it was to see how "humble" the 36-year-old is in real life. "It was crazy, it was mind-blowing; best summer of my life!" the 13-year-old said about working with James. "Getting to be with him and film and seeing what kind of person he was, how humble and cool he was, he made it really easy for me and he made the whole summer really fun." The teen went on to say his friends are "really excited" to see him star alongside James.
Lee, who's known for films like Girls Trip, The Best Man, The Best Man Holiday, and Undercover Brother, also couldn't help but to stress how "great" it was working with James as well, adding that the athlete and philanthropist took direction really well. "LeBron's great! He loves to act, he loves to dress up, he loves to be silly, he loves to be loud, he likes being funny, and he's an open vessel when it comes to direction," the director said. Further explaining that even in parts of the film where James was asked to shed more emotion and create a little more depth to his character and to the scene, he was able to do it quickly and without hesitation.
Space Jam: New Legacy premieres on July 16 in theaters and will stream exclusively on HBO Max.