Lebron James’ Space Jam 2 Is Having Trouble Casting NBA Players

Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny
(Image credit: (Warner Bros))

As LeBron James’ first season with the Los Angeles Lakers closes out next week, he’s gearing up to shoot a sequel for Space Jam alongside some lovable Looney Tunes icons his summer. As was done with the Michael Jordan-led 1996 original, the basketball star has been recruiting additional high-profile players to also make appearances in the nostalgia trip, but he’s reportedly not having much luck welcoming other NBA players to the jam.

According to Brian Windhorst of ESPN, LeBron James has his eye on a few top players to join in with him on the Space Jam 2 fun, but he "hasn’t been able to close some of those deals." During the ESPN sports writer’s recent report during a telecast, he speculated other NBA players may have turned him down because “you put me in the movie where you're the star, I'm going to be the one you're dunking on." Check out what he said below:

Maybe some of the other players aren’t interested in being a side player in the “LeBron James Show”? Hoop Hype writer Bryan Kalbrosky said in a tweet that he’d been told star players may be turning down Space Jam 2 because the pay may not be high enough to convince them. Conversely, Kalbrosky said he also spoke to entertainment industry insiders who told him the amount being offered is quite high for a cameo.

James is an executive producer on the film who certainly has pull to have these discussions with other basketball names. In the first Space Jam, mega-star Michael Jordan was also joined by Charles Barkley, Larry Bird, Shawn Bradley, Larry Johnson, Patrick Ewing and Muggsy Bogues. The addition of other talent from the basketball world would certainly buff up interest in the movie from the fandom and allow some other players to be a part of this movie event.

Space Jam 2 will follow LeBron James’ last big-screen role as himself in 2015’s Trainwreck. The basketball star also recently contributed his voice to the character Gwangi in 2018’s Smallfoot. The new Looney Tunes-meets-basketball movie will also be produced by Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin. Space Jam 2 will be directed by Terence Nance, who created the HBO series Random Acts of Flyness.

So far, Star Trek: Discovery’s lead Sonequa Martin-Green was cast last week as LeBron James’ wife (though it’s unclear if she’ll be playing the high school sweetheart he’s married to in real life). One certainly wonders which basketball players LeBron has asked so far? Kobe Bryant? Michael Jordan? Perhaps some other of his team mates from the Lakers?

LeBron James still has time to recruit more players for Space Jam 2 and we hope he does! The movie is set to be released on July 16, 2021.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

Sarah El-Mahmoud has been with CinemaBlend since 2018 after graduating from Cal State Fullerton with a degree in Journalism. In college, she was the Managing Editor of the award-winning college paper, The Daily Titan, where she specialized in writing/editing long-form features, profiles and arts & entertainment coverage, including her first run-in with movie reporting, with a phone interview with Guillermo del Toro for Best Picture winner, The Shape of Water. Now she's into covering YA television and movies, and plenty of horror. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.