LeBron James, Ryan Coogler team up for new Space Jam film

LeBron James (left) was personally involved in recruiting Ryan Coogler for the new Space Jam film.
LeBron James (left) was personally involved in recruiting Ryan Coogler for the new Space Jam film.PHOTOS: AFP, REUTERS

LOS ANGELES •LeBron James leaps to slam-dunk in NBA games while Ryan Coogler has made his big leap forward in Hollywood as director of Black Panther (2018).

Now, the two are teaming up to jump-start a long anticipated new Space Jam film.

SpringHill Entertainment, James and business partner Maverick Carter's company, announced the news on Tuesday by tweeting a cartoon image of a room with lockers for James, Bugs Bunny, Coogler and Terence Nance, who will direct the film.

Coogler will be the producer.

According to ESPN, James and Carter have been in talks to make a new Space Jam film for more than five years, with James personally involved in recruiting Coogler.

ESPN also reported that the movie will not be a sequel to the 1996 Space Jam film starring Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny. It grossed US$375 million worldwide, more than double the earnings of any other basketball movie.

James has previously been vocal with his praise for Coogler and Black Panther, a Marvel blockbuster featuring a primarily black cast and a black superhero.

"I loved his vision," James told The Hollywood Reporter.

"The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie," he continued.

"It's so much bigger. I'd just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don't just give up on their dreams."

SpringHill signed an agreement with Warner, which owns Space Jam, in 2015.

Filming is expected to start next NBA off-season and it is possible that Jordan could be involved.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2018, with the headline 'LeBron James, Ryan Coogler team up for new Space Jam film'. Print Edition | Subscribe