Space Jam 2: Replacements for LeBron

Space Jam 2: Replacements for LeBron

The news recently broke that Warner Brothers is in the early stages of development for Space Jam 2; a sequel to the ’90s’ cult classic that starred Michael Jordan alongside Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang.

It was rumored that the sequel would star modern-day basketball superstar: LeBron James. Recently, James has denied the rumors; stating publicly “Obviously I don’t want to be on there…”

So with the “King” apparently  unwilling to share the screen with the lovable cast, Warner Brothers has been forced to seek out a new star for the film from amongst the notable players of the National Basketball Association.  Some interesting names have been proposed, but for various reasons, they have each proven unbefitting to take on the role.  Here are some of the most noteworthy players Warner Brothers has approached, and the subsequent reasons why they were not cast.

1.  Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh - Miami Heat
Chris Bosh – Miami Heat

When LeBron initially turned down the role, Warner Brothers went immediately to teammate Chris Bosh as a possible replacement.  Lively and comical, Bosh’s personality seemed like a great fit for interactions with Bugs, Daffy and the rest of the toons.  Unfortunately, agents discovered soon thereafter that Bosh himself is in fact a cartoon character.  The lack of contrast led Warner Brothers to search elsewhere.

2.  Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan - San Antonio Spurs
Tim Duncan – San Antonio Spurs

Tim Duncan’s name was thrown around by one WB executive.  The tenured veteran would provide the production schedule with a sense of consistency and expectation.  When working with actors as spontaneous as The Tasmanian Devil, a bit of leadership and a strong work ethic in an actor are welcomed traits by the director and crew.  Unfortunately, the writers immediately protested; positing that Duncan was older than some of the original Looney Tunes cartoon strips.  One story developer told us that, “Unless we write a romance between Tim and Granny

Granny
Granny

into the story line; Duncan is not the way to go.”

3.  Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant - Los Angeles Lakers
Kobe Bryant – Los Angeles Lakers

Ever since the original Space Jam, fans and filmmakers alike have asserted that Lakers’ Guard Kobe Bryant should star in the sequel.  Grassroots efforts such as the underground,“Come on Kobe do it already-” movement and the Space Jam 2 Kobe Petition have attempted to sway Warner Brothers into approaching the Hollywood phenom.  WB has yet to do so.  It is rumored that Bugs Bunny has refused to allow Kobe on set with his romantic partner Lola, but those rumors are yet to be confirmed.

4.  Steve Nash

Steve Nash - Los Angeles Lakers
Steve Nash – Los Angeles Lakers

Lakers teammate Steve Nash was a commonly mentioned option in the WB Offices.  The once shaggy-haired point guard now sports a clean “nice-guy” look and would raise interest from middle-aged mothers and Canadians.  However, after doing some research, executives discovered that Nash’s past film experience indicates a tendency to fade into the background to make room for larger personalities.

Nash’s inability to command the screen made him a poor fit.

5.  Anthony Davis

Anthony Davis - New Orleans Pelicans
Anthony Davis – New Orleans Pelicans

Young Pelicans’ front-courter Anthony Davis was also considered.  His youthful exuberance seemed the perfect match for the toons’ high level of energy.  That is, until, in a scandalous discovery, it was uncovered that Davis is actually a Monstar in disguise.  Given away by the eyebrow, the massive center was revealed as a one of the Tune Squads’ largest rivals.

Anthony Davis After
Anthony Davis in Disguise
Anthony Davis Before
Anthony Davis

Davis was almost successful in destroying his enemies from the inside out; but thankfully his plan to subvert was thwarted.

6.  Tony Parker

Tony Parker - San Antonio Spurs
Tony Parker – San Antonio Spurs

Suave and talented Frenchman Tony Parker was nominated, but was quickly shot down by potential co-star Pepe le Pew.

Pepe le Pew
Pepe le Pew

The famously love-struck skunk was outraged by the notion.  “Am I being replaced?  Another frenchman in black-and-white?  There is only room for one.  It is either le Pew or Parker.”

Clauses of le Pew’s contract prevented any further pursuit of Parker.

7.  Kris Humphries

Kris Humphries - Boston Celtics
Kris Humphries – Boston Celtics

With so many options falling through, WB briefly considered going with someone who had experience.  Kris Humphries seemed like a reasonable option.  Perhaps he isn’t the biggest NBA superstar, executives thought, but he does have Hollywood experience, having been featured on the smash hit reality show: “Keeping Up With the Kardashians” alongside his ex-girlfriend, Kim.  Unfortunately, while Humphries’ screen experience proved promising, his high perspiration levels became an issue.

The famously sweaty Humphries fell through due to the fact that his moisture had a tendency to smear his cartoon co-stars.

8.  The Philadelphia 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers
The Philadelphia 76ers

Lastly, when the 76ers front office heard that Warner Brothers was having casting issues they seized the opportunity to reach out.  They offered their entire team to star as an ensemble cast for the same price as one NBA superstar like the ones mentioned above.  The deal seemed like a no-brainer, 15 actors for the price of one.  However, the 76ers .234 win percentage kept them from serious consideration.  One WB executive was quoted as saying “We might as well hire a pee-wee team.”

So the search continues.  Who should star in Space Jam 2?  And who else is a bad fit?  Only time will tell.  Let’s just pray LeBron has a change of heart.

Richard Mattox

Richard Mattox is the head editor of Smash Cut Culture and a 2013 alumnus of the Taliesin Nexus Filmmakers Workshop and Internship program. Currently pursuing a Masters in Professional Writing (screenwriting emphasis) from USC, Mattox is an avid film-junkie, a singer-songwriter, and a die-hard Baltimore Orioles fan.