- Space Jam 2 is in pre-production and could hit theatres in 2019.
- LeBron James is not only the star, he’s also the executive producer.
- We predict which NBAers King James will cast as the new Monstars and how the movie will do at the box office.
Rumored for years, Space Jam 2 became official last September. Four-time NBA MVP LeBron James will take over the lead role from Michael Jordan, while Ryan Coogler of Black Panther fame is listed as producer and relative unknown Terence Nance has been tabbed to direct.
James is also the executive producer of the remake, which means he should have a great deal of control over certain details, like the cast.
People of a certain age will remember that the original Space Jam starred five NBA legends in addition to M.J. : Charles Barkley, Muggsy Bogues, Shawn Bradley, Patrick Ewing, and Larry Johnson. Their basketball powers were stolen by a quintet of cartoon aliens (the “Monstars”), and then Jordan, Bugs Bunny, and the rest of the Looney Toons had to defeat them on the court to save the world.
Now that Space Jam 2 is definitely happening, fans are busy predicting which current NBAers will cede their powers to the new Monstars (even though it’s entirely possible the sequel has a very different storyline).
Here’s what our crack team of NBA experts came up with when we collaborated with our entertainment mavens.
Which NBA players will be the Monstars in Space Jam 2?
|Damian Lillard||Trail Blazers||12/1|
|Carmelo Anthony||Free Agent||150/1|
LeBron is known for having a tight circle of friends in the Association, specifically Team Banana Boat: Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony.
Banana Boat Team 🤔 pic.twitter.com/B6PdMClRrG
— Do Deka (@dodekabasket) July 10, 2018
Neither of those three are still at the top of their game, though, and their popularity among NBA fans is waning. Carmelo isn’t even in the league anymore; Wade is playing limited minutes off the bench in his final season; and Paul is having trouble staying on the court due to injury.
When it comes time for LeBron and company to cast Space Jam 2, there will be a heated battle between loyalty and popularity. Casting current stars like Steph Curry and Kevin Durant would be better for drumming up interest, as would casting the best players from the biggest markets (hello Kristaps Porzingis).
NBA Jersey Sales Leaders for 2017-2018:
1. Warriors- Steph Curry
2. Cavaliers- LeBron James
3. Warriors- Kevin Durant
4. Bucks- Giannis Antetokounmpo
5. Knicks- Kristaps Porzingis
— Jacob Gholson (@FirstandGholson) January 17, 2018
At the end of the day, Paul is the only Banana Boater who could reasonably be cast as a Monstar at this point in his career. He is still an elite point guard when he’s healthy, averaging 15.6 points, 8.0 assists, 4.0 rebounds. and 2.1 steals in 26 games this year with an 18.2 Player Efficiency Rating. As such, he’s the only player who ticks both the “friends with LeBron” and “great at basketball” boxes, making him the biggest favorite in our books.
After CP3, Durant and Curry are the most likely. Which players in the league are better suited to be LeBron’s nemeses than the Warriors’ stars? Maybe ex-teammate Kyrie Irving, but we think there’s a better chance that the Earth is flat than James giving the “kid” a starring role in his movie.
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) September 26, 2017
Antetokounmpo, a.k.a. the “Greek Freak,” would be higher on the list, but he doesn’t get the hype he deserves because he plays in Wisconsin. Nothing from Wisconsin gets the hype it deserves, except cranberries. Any hype for cranberries is more hype than cranberries deserve.
The cast is not the only aspect of Space Jam 2 that has people pulling out their tarot cards. LeBron and Jordan are ubiquitously pitted against each other in the “Best Player of All Time” debate. With LeBron usurping M.J.’s role in Space Jam 2, many are wondering whether the true G.O.A.T. will make an appearance in the film.
Space Jam 2 Props
|Space Jam 2 Props||Odds|
|Odds Michael Jordan appear in Space Jam 2?||3/4|
|Over/Under Space Jam 2 box-office (worldwide)||O/U $850 million|
|Over/Under Space Jam 2 release-date||O/U Dec. 31, 2019|
An appearance from M.J. would certainly boost the box-office projections. Sixteen years after his (final) retirement, Jordan remains arguably the most popular basketball player on Earth.
🎙️@ClayTravis: “It’s become a pejorative to make fun of Michael Jordan for not standing up for his political beliefs, but the result is that he still remains the most popular NBA player 20 years after his career ended.” https://t.co/GthLK0y2ou pic.twitter.com/mRN3uW8z2O
— FOX Sports Radio (@FoxSportsRadio) June 5, 2018
That’s not to say Space Jam 2 needs Jordan to be a commercial success, of course. This movie is almost guaranteed to make a killing based on the details that have already been confirmed: basketball fans will flock to see LeBron and the other NBA stars; kids will see it for the Looney Tunes; movies buffs might even be enticed by Nance as director.
The neophyte is perhaps best known as the writer/director/producer of An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, a film that premiered at Sundance to critical acclaim.
Also helping the box-office projections, China loves basketball these days. That’s a lot of potential ticket sales.
Who would you like to see in Space Jam 2? Let us know on Twitter.