‘Space Jam 2’ Update: Sneaker Contracts Prevent Casting of NBA Stars, Ryan Coogler Rewriting Script

The Tune Squad may never see the court.

For months now, it seemed LeBron JamesSpace Jam sequel was finally gaining some pre-production momentum. But a new update from The Hollywood Reporter paints a slightly messier picture.

According to the report, sneaker deals may prohibit the appearance of any fellow NBA stars (which could mean no Monstar or Tune Squad appearances.) The original Michael Jordan-led production was essentially a big screen offshoot of a commercial for Nike’s “Hare Jordan” campaign, which directly ties Space Jam to the sneaker giant.

READ: First Photo Of LeBron James’ Space Jam 2 Revealed, Ryan Coogler Set To Produce

Long-rumored co-stars, Stephen Curry (on contract with Under Armour until 2024,) and James Harden (signed with Adidas,) are nearly impossible to cast because of the film’s Nike association. Kevin Durant, currently producing a series for Apple’s upcoming media mammoth, is also out of the running. What’s more, the casting holdup may have forced the team behind the film to restructure its script. The report adds producer, Ryan Coogler (Fruitvale Station, Black Panther,) is at the helm of the rewrite, while Terence Nance (Random Acts of Flyness,) is still onboard to direct.

There is some good news, though. Other parts of the crew are rounding out. Sonequa Martin-Green (Star Trek: Discovery) has been cast as James’ wife and Bradford Young (Arrival) will serve as the film’s cinematographer. Production is set to begin in July, just after the LeBron-less playoffs. Earlier this year, Warner Bros. announced the film’s release date would be July 16, 2021. We’ll have to wait and see if the casting complications put that on hold.


Zo is a staff writer at Okayplayer where he covers music.

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