New Space Jam Movie Gets Its First Images Featuring LeBron James And Don Cheadle

The animated basketball film is due in theaters and HBO Max on July 16.


As Space Jam: A New Legacy is nearing its release in theaters and HBO Max on July 16, Entertainment Weekly has a cover story on the sequel offering a first look with some stills. There are a few you can see in the tweet below, and an additional handful in the story, which focuses more on LeBron James's dedication of learning how to act and offers a few details on the plot.

The EW piece confirms a synopsis that leaked late last year for the film, which has James struggling to relate to his son Dom (Ceyair J. Wright) who's "much more interested in creating games than playing them." His son's tech skills attract the attention of a CGI humanoid named AI G Rhythm (Don Cheadle), and lures the father and son into "the Warner 3000 entertainment 'Server-verse,'" where an epic basketball game will settle a dispute over followers on social media. It sounded far-fetched as the plot last year, and it still does, but according to the EW article, what will really surprise audiences is the film's surprising emotional depth.

"We go deeper and attempt to hug at the heartstrings," director Malcolm D. Lee says. Cheadle adds that James has "more acting to do" than Michael Jordan did in the original.

Space Jam: A New Legacy, the EW piece points out, has a lot riding on it. The film is a crucial part of Hollywood hoping to welcome audiences back to theaters for moviegoing experiences this summer, while also reviving a hopeful film franchise that never quite got off the ground. When Jordan, who co-starred in 1996's original Space Jam, wasn't interested in pursuing a sequel, it was followed by other follow-ups being floated but ultimately not panning out with Jackie Chan, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, Tiger Woods, and Tony Hawk stepping in. The direction Space Jam: A New Legacy takes may indicate where previous attempts to continue the franchise weren't quite right.

Space Jam: A New Legacy is written by Juel Taylor, Tony Rettenmaier, Keenan Coogler, and Terence Nance. The director of Black Panther, Ryan Coogler, is co-producing alongside James, Maverick Carter, and Duncan Henderson.

A new "arcade-style" Space Jam video game based on A New Legacy is expected out sometime this year.

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