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For the most part, Space Jam’s lineup of Looney Tunes consisted of characters who’d been mainstays in the cartoon franchise for decades, from Bugs Bunny to Foghorn Leghorn. The big exception to this was Lola Bunny, who debuted in the 1996 movie and had had a regular presence in the Looney Tunes canon since then. Naturally Lola will be back to shoot hoops later this year in Space Jam: A New Legacy, but the sequel will also see her in a much different place compared to where we left off with her in the last movie, and the world of Wonder Woman factors into that.
We wanted to meet her with the Amazons, trying to find greener pastures for herself. As she says in the movie, there's more to her than just being a Tune.
In case you’re wondering how it’s possible for Lola Bunny to be spending time with DC’s Amazons (it’s unclear if Wonder Woman herself will be around), that’s because the majority of Space Jam: A New Legacy’s action takes place inside the Warner 3000 entertainment system, where the Warner Bros properties and franchises co-mingle. NBA superstar LeBron James and his son get sucked into the virtual environment by Don Cheadle’s Al-G Rhythm, a rogue computer algorithm, and the only way for them to get out is to do the same thing Michael Jordan did 25 years ago: play a high-stakes basketball game with the Looney Tunes. Lola is initially reluctant to rejoin the Tune Squad when approached by Bugs Bunny, but she eventually jumps back into action, which is great since she’s still the team’s best player.
Lola Bunny spending time on Themyscira is part of Space Jam: A New Legacy’s efforts to depict the character in a less “sexualized” manner, with Malcolm D. Lee describing her as “not politically correct” in the first Space Jam movie, although he acknowledged that there’s a “long history” of this happening in cartoons. When Lee came aboard A New Legacy, he set out to deliver a more “fully realized” Lola, and he had “leeway” in doing so because she’d been created specifically for Space Jam and didn’t have the extensive history her fellow Tunes have. The filmmaker explained:
This is 2021. It's important to reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters. She probably has the most human characteristics of the Tunes; she doesn't have a thing like a carrot or a lisp or a stutter. So we reworked a lot of things, not only her look, like making sure she had an appropriate length on her shorts and was feminine without being objectified, but gave her a real voice. For us, it was, let's ground her athletic prowess, her leadership skills, and make her as full a character as the others.
While Lola Bunny has popped up in TV series like The Looney Tunes Show and New Looney Tunes, Space Jam is still arguably her most well-known appearance. So for a lot of folks, this may be the first time they’re seeing her since that movie came out, and while Malcom D. Lee and the Space Jam: A New Legacy team didn’t drastically overhaul Lola, it does sound like her depiction this time around is more appropriate for current times. Kath Soucie will reprise the character.
Other familiar Looney Tunes characters taking part in Space Jam: A New Legacy include Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester, Tweety and Marvin the Martian, among others. As for the lineup of humans, Star Trek: Discovery’s Sonequa Martin-Green is playing Kamiyah, LeBron James’ wife, and there will be cameos from NBA players Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Draymond Green and Kyle Kuzma, as well as WNBA players Diana Taurasi, Nneka Ogwumike and Chiney Ogwumike.
Like the other Warner Bros movies coming out this year, Space Jam: A New Legacy will be released in both theaters and on HBO Max (which you can sign up for using this link) for a one-month window when it arrives on July 16. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on the sequel, including when the first trailer drops.