‘Space Jam 2’ gets 2021 release date

Warner Bros. has set a July 16, 2021, date for its live-action/animated sports comedy “Space Jam 2,” starring LeBron James.

Terence Nance, creator of the HBO show “Random Acts of Flyness,” is directing the sequel. His credits include “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty,” “Swimming in Your Skin Again,” and “Univitellin.” The movie marks James’ first major acting role. He played himself in the 2015 Amy Schumer-Bill Hader comedy “Trainwreck.”

Rumors of a “Space Jam” follow-up first emerged in 2015 when James and his company, SpringHill Entertainment, signed a deal with Warner Bros. Justin Lin was in talks to direct in 2016, but that deal did not go through. Lin is an executive producer on the movie.

Michael Jordan teamed up with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes characters in 1996’s “Space Jam,” which grossed $230 million worldwide. The cast included NBA stars Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, and Patrick Ewing, and the story took place during the time between Jordan’s initial retirement from the NBA in 1993 and his comeback in 1995. Jordan was enlisted by Bugs Bunny and friends to help them win a basketball match against a group of aliens.

James signed with the Los Angeles Lakers in July after opting out of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler came on board as a producer on the “Space Jam” sequel last year and the state of California has made a $21.8 million conditional tax credit allocation for the project.

Warner Bros. also said its third Annabelle movie has moved forward a week from July 3 to June 28 and will be released in Imax. It’s also moved the Legendary project “Godzilla vs. Kong” forward two months from May 22, 2020, to March 13, 2020. “Godzilla vs. Kong” stars Alexander Skarsgard, Millie Bobby Brown, Rebecca Hall, and Brian Tyree Henry.

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