As you have heard, they have found a director for “Space Jam 2” and the reboot/sequel is finally getting the necessary things in motion to make it happen. The idea, though not confirmed, is that the movie will focus on LeBron James as the main character.
This is a bad idea.
First of all, the idea of this sequel happening is completely unnecessary. The original was a little off the wall and it featured a good storyline that followed it. Michael Jordan’s abrupt retirement allowed this storyline to work through. The silliness of Bugs Bunny and the rest of this crew recruiting Jordan to an intergalactic basketball game against aliens who have stolen his friends’ talents is perfectly a 1990s idea. It should stay there. Anything similar would not work today.
But here we have LeBron James. He isn’t as likable. (Although one can argue that Jordan wasn’t very likable as well but he was way more revered during his era than James is now.) The timing of this is terrible. If they made this to coincide with James’ return to Cleveland, then there might have been something.
But what can James offer? He isn’t dealing with a sudden retirement. The only true major blemish of his career is his exodus to Miami and his return. Does this become the focal point of the movie? I doubt James and his camp want to bring that part of his career into the light — especially reliving “The Decision” on the silver screen.
The issue with this reboot is not that it won’t work, but James as the lead role makes it difficult. The evolution of favorite basketball stars continues to change every few months.
Despite James being so huge internationally, he isn’t the top star according to fans. Stephen Curry holds that title and by the time this movie comes out, it might be someone new. Would the impact be as fresh when the film is released? Doubtful.
When Jordan did his movie, it was a worldwide consensus he was the best. His sudden retirement left fans wanting more of him. The same cannot be said if James had a sudden retirement.
So what does the movie need? The problem is that if they go the same route as the original, they need a bonafide top star as the lead role. James might not be that guy when this movie comes out. Curry might not be that guy either. There are so many great stars in the league that they cannot follow the original format. There has to be something new to it.
If James has to be the star, then the storyline has to be extremely different. The easy solution is to make him the villain. That twist would allow the story to add on a new element and give this reboot a chance to truly succeed. Maybe his old friends from the Heat, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, might reform some kind of nWo storyline and it becomes evil stars versus good stars. Mark Cuban (the Eric Bischoff character) can have a role as some big mouth owner who wants to collect talents to take over the world where Michael Jordan tries to recruit his Tune Squad friends and the rest of the good guys of the league.
Think about it. A dozen of the league’s top stars led by Cuban in a power-hungry surge to take over the basketball universe. Michael Jordan is recruited with his Tune Squad and his “good” friends to stop the evil attack. One game. The entire galaxy on the line. And of course Joey Crawford as the crooked official hired by new Monstars/bad guys.
That’s how it has to be. There is way too much even-leveled star power to make this just about James. More players need to be in it and it has to be a mega battle. That’s how this would work. That’s the trend of movies these days with Good vs. Evil.
You want to give us Space Jam 2? Then give us the intergalactic basketball war for the universe. It’s the only way.