LeBron James shares first look at ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’

The film will be released on July 16, 2021 in theaters and on HBO Max

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NBA star LeBron James used social media to share images from the upcoming film Space Jam: A New Legacy, exclusively published by Entertainment Weekly.

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The highly-anticipated movie is the subject of EW‘s latest cover story, featuring James with the Looney Tunes characters posed around him. Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, and others all take center stage, ready for game time with James as the Space Jam legacy is rebirthed.

“It’s something Mike [Michael Jordan] created and is his,” James says of the Space Jam brand to EW. “I held that with a lot of responsibility.”

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(Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images for EIF)

Producer Ryan Coogler also opened up about the creative process of making the film where half of the main characters are animated and starring alongside real-life actors and talent.

“We were reminded very quickly why the Looney Tunes work,”  he remarked to EW. “When we watch the parts of the film [featuring] the Tunes, you have a smile come over your face because, if you’re from our generation, you miss them.”

Producing partner Maverick Carter also shared his take on extending the legacy of a nostalgic classic.

“It was always about respecting [Space Jam], but also, how do we make a film that’s interesting, matters to the culture, and is about something,” he remarked.

James himself has displayed a continued excitement for the project. He shared the photos on Instagram with the caption “’YALL NOT READY FOR THIS SQUAD!!!!”

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Although the film is an extension of what Jordan created in the 1990s, there will be notable differences. Character’s such as Lola Bunny receive a much-needed upgrade, according to director Malcolm D. Lee.

“It was very important to me to be traditional about the Looney Tunes’ portrayals,”  he said to the entertainment outlet. “This is 2021. It’s important to reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters.”

ABFF 2017 - GIRLS TRIP Red Carpet Screening with Regina Hall, Will Packer and Malcolm D. Lee
MIAMI, FL – JUNE 14: Director Malcolm D. Lee speaks onstage at 2017 American Black Film Festival “Girls Trip” Red Carpet Screening at Olympia Theater At Gusman Hall on June 14, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Universal)

theGrio reported James previously shared the emotions experienced when filming the movie. While carrying out his role, the athlete turned actor was reminded of his childhood and time with his mother.

“She was walking around high school when she was 16 years old and she was pregnant with me as a high school sophomore. So I’m really not supposed to be here,” he said according to the report.

“I’m gonna be honest completely with you guys — when I found out about the project, I was like it’s ‘Space Jam’! It’s a movie that I grew up watching. People in the movie that I idolize. I was like absolutely, I gotta do it. There’s no way I can turn down ‘Space Jam’!”

He shared with EW how he approached set, with a similar mindset that he takes on the court and how he was mentored by actor Don Cheadle throughout the creation of the movie. Cheadle also stars in the film as the AI – Rhythm.

“Just like in the NBA, I like to be coached by my coaches,” James shared with the outlet. “I was the same way on set.”

Space Jam: A New Legacy will be released on July 16, 2021, in theaters and on HBO Max.

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