It's been 20 years since the first SPACE JAM film hit theaters and shaped childhoods all around the world. With Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, and a whole host of NBA superstars in significant roles, it's a movie that, despite its flaws, is beloved by many. Of course, since we currently live in an age of franchises, anything with brand recognition seems like it's fair game for Hollywood to exploit, and this is exactly what's happened with SPACE JAM.
It's been rumored for years that a SPACE JAM sequel would be hitting theaters, but nothing ever came of it...until recently, when THR broke the news that LeBron James would be filling in for Michael Jordan in the lead role in SPACE JAM 2. Not only that, but Justin Lin, the director of four FAST & FURIOUS films, would be at the helm as director.
Response to this news has been mixed to lukewarm. Some are optimistic about the film, while others see it as little more than a cash grab. Others seem to have little interest at all. It's a film that came out in the mid-90s, and while it had its place then, it really has no place now. Whether or not the film will actually be any good is still up in the air, but I'm always hesitant to throw any movie under the bus before anything is shown. Joe Pytka -- the director of the original SPACE JAM -- however, was not hesitant to express his doubts to THR.
"Don't do it. It's doomed. Michael Jordan was the biggest star on the planet.
When we did SPACE JAM, there was a perfect storm of players and ex-players available — Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing. They all had a persona that complemented the film. There are none around like that now."
Pytka definitely does have a point there. If they're planning on selling the movie on its star power, there aren't really many names nowadays that go above and beyond those who follow the NBA. That being said, we do currently live in the age of franchises. Hardly any actor nowadays has "star power," as most sales are made on brand recognition. With that in mind, how much does something like star power matter when it's mostly the name that's selling general audiences? Does the idea of selling a movie with a movie star differ when those stars are sports icons?
What do you think? Is Pytka right? Was the first SPACE JAM really the perfect storm for them, and can it be replicated nowadays?
Let us know your thoughts down below!
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