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In 1996, it was a big deal to see NBA superstar Michael Jordan team up with the Looney Tunes in Space Jam. But 25 years later, the sequel, Space Jam: A New Legacy, is kicking things up a few notches. Make no mistake, Bugs Bunny and the gang will be integral characters alongside LeBron James as they must once again play basketball to get out of a… well, jam. However, they won’t be the only major Warner Bros properties highlighted in the sequel.

Unlike the first Space Jam movie, where the action primarily took place on the Looney Tunes’ home turf, Space Jam: A New Legacy is taking the action to cyberspace, with LeBron James and his son Dom being pulled into the Warner 3000 entertainment system by Don Cheadle’s Al G Rhythm, a rogue A.I. This is how James will cross paths with the Looney Tunes, and according to producer Ryan Coogler, it was co-writer Terence Nance’s idea to play around in the entire Warner Bros “sandbox” as a way to explore the way entertainment conglomerates operate these days. James will drift through some of Warner Bros’ most famous properties to find the Looney Tunes, and here’s what he had to say to EW about how the sequel is delving into the WB vault:

You can look at the WB catalog and just see how many things they have in the archives. And for me to be able to travel through and be part of Wonder Woman, Casablanca, The Matrix, it was incredible. We were able to dive into some of those worlds, along with some other ones that… I gave you a couple, but I want to save some for the film. I couldn't believe it, to see some of the live footage that we were able to shoot, along with some of the digital and animation stuff to just bring it all together.

This sounds similar to what Ralph Breaks the Internet did in 2018, as John C. Reilly’s title character and Sarah Silverman’s Vanellope ran into a lot of Disney properties during their journey across the internet, including the Disney Princesses. Now before going further, it should be noted that other than the Looney Tunes and LeBron James' teases, no other Warner Bros movies and properties have been officially confirmed for Space Jam: A New Legacy, although the article does strongly indicate that King Kong will be in the audience for one of the basketball games. But if you’re a fan of the WB library, you’ll want to keep your eyes closely peeled for all the special appearances.

Though all this isn’t to say that including so many Warner Bros characters and worlds outside of the Looney Tunes sphere was an easy task. Space Jam: A New Legacy director Malcolm D. Lee described the process thusly:

It was a tricky thing just in terms of what you may want, like, 'Oh my God, look, there's Mad Max, and there's Casablanca! But in picking the titles, is it going to be funny? That's always the balance. You may want a title and [they] say, 'Well, the people who own that title, we at the studio do own it, but we may not be able to use [it].' There's a lot of trial and error.

As far as the Looney Tunes themselves go, Bugs Bunny will be accompanied by Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Lola Bunny, Marvin the Martian, Sylvester, Tweety, Pepe le Pew, Foghorn Leghorn and Speedy Gonzales. And LeBron James won’t be the only basketball talent gracing Space Jam: A New Legacy; NBA players Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Draymond Green and Kyle Kuzma will show up, as will WNBA players Diana Taurasi, Nneka Ogwumike and Chiney Ogwumike. Star Trek: Discovery’s Sonequa Martin-Green stars as Savannah James, LeBron’s wife.

Space Jam: A New Legacy opens on July 16 in both theaters and on HBO Max, the latter of which you can sign up for now. Browse through our 2021 release schedule to learn what other movies will arrive later this year.

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