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Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is joining LeBron James’ Space Jam

Black Panther director Ryan Coogler is joining LeBron James’ Space Jam


The sequel to Michael Jordan’s 1996 film is getting ready to move forward

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Photo: Marvel Studios

Black Panther director Ryan Coogler has more than a few projects on his plate, and he’s just signed up for another: he’s producing the upcoming Space Jam sequel starring LeBron James.

The original Space Jam was a live-action / animation hybrid that came out in 1996. It featured Michael Jordan, as himself, getting recruited by Bugs Bunny to help a basketball team made up of Looney Tunes characters defeat their animated sports nemeses: a team called The Monsters. (Look, the ‘90s were weird.) Along with the familiar animated characters, the movie also featured numerous cameos from Jordan’s basketball contemporaries, and went on to gross more than $230 million worldwide.

The currently untitled new Space Jam is reportedly going to be a sequel rather than a reboot, and will be directed by Terence Nance, who recently created the HBO series Random Acts of Flyness. James’ involvement with the project dates back to 2015, when Star Trek Beyond director Justin Lin was reportedly in discussions to direct. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project is tentatively scheduled to begin production in 2019.

The addition of Coogler, who has established himself both as a strong artistic voice with movies like Fruitvale Station, as well as a blockbuster force with Creed and Black Panther, should only raise expectations for the project, which is revving up just as James is about to start a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.