LeBron James and Black Panther’s’ Ryan Coogler team up for the ‘Space Jam’ Sequel

By: Scott T. Sterling
Photo credit © Gregory Shamus / Andreas Rentz for Getty Images

NBA superstar LeBron James has paired with Black Panther director Ryan Coogler to produce an upcoming sequel to the 1996 animated fantasy classic, Space Jam.

“I loved his vision,” James told The Hollywood Reporter about his decision to bring Coogler onto the project. James grew up in the Midwest during a time when there were no black superheroes for kids to admire. Coogler’s success with Black Panther resonated heavily with the NBA champion.

"So for Ryan to be able to bring that to kids, it’s amazing,” James marveled.

The original Space Jam stands as the highest-grossing basketball movie of all-time, raking in an impressive $250 million around the world.

“The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” James explained. “It's so much bigger. I'd just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don't just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.”

The new Space Jam 2 dream team was rolled out via SpringHill Entertainment.

Production on the new Space Jam is expected to start in 2019.