Art & Show

Yes, the ‘Space Jam’ sequel with LeBron James is actually happening, and Ryan Coogler is involved

Oooh, looks like we got a real jam goin’ down!

That’s right: The long-rumored sequel to the weirdly still-popular basketball movie “Space Jam” is happening, with LeBron James as the main live-action player and Ryan Coogler as producer.

James’s SpringHill Entertainment posted a teaser photo Wednesday, which also confirmed that Terence Nance is set to direct the movie.

Nance created “Random Acts of Flyness” on HBO. Coogler wrote and directed the monster superhero hit “Black Panther.”

“I loved his vision” for that movie, James told the Hollywood Reporter.

“The ‘Space Jam’ collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie,” James continued. “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.”

Production on the movie is scheduled to begin in 2019 during the NBA offseason, according to THR.

Given who is involved, expectations are high:

The 1996 Michael Jordan movie, inspired by a Nike ad campaign, was part animation, part live action and a gigantic commercial success; it ranks as the highest-grossing basketball movie of all time. While the critics were mostly negative in their reviews of the film, “Space Jam” earned $230 million worldwide, and associated merchandising generated an additional $1 billion in retail sales.

Despite it all, “Space Jam” has endured and become a cultural phenomenon. People still wear Monstar jerseys, remix the movie’s title song and pore over its still-active website, a relic of a bygone Internet era.

In 2015, James signed a deal with Warner Bros. to develop movies and TV shows, and the company also filed new trademarks for “Space Jam,” kicking off intense speculation that James would be the new Jordan and “Space Jam 2” was going to be a sure thing.

More reports in 2016 confirmed James as the star, with Justin Lin (of the “Fast & Furious” franchise fame) set to direct. But no deal had actually been made.

Meanwhile, the director of the original movie said that no player, including James, was as big as Jordan, and therefore a sequel wouldn’t work.

Wednesday’s news has made it official, though. Very soon, it will be time to slam.