It’s been a little over a year since Warner Bros. announced that a Space Jam sequel starring Lebron James was in the works. News about the next Looney Tunes installment — which has Fate of the Furious‘ Justin Lin attached to direct — has been slow since then, leading many to wonder if the project would end up stuck in development hell. Fortunately, Lin recently reassured fans that the film will still happen — but don’t expect it anytime soon.
“A lot of times now with these big tentpoles, everybody’s trying to jam a movie in in a limited time. I feel like I’m too old for that. I want to make sure that we do everything right, so those two projects, with Legendary [on Hot Wheels] and Warner Bros. [on Space Jam 2] they’ve been great about saying, ‘What do you need, how much time do you need? Let’s keep getting it right,’” Lin explained during a Television Critics Association panel, as recorded by SlashFilm.
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“Warner Brothers has been great. I feel like it’s been very precious. Everybody at the studio’s been calling, ‘Let’s go, let’s go’ and I’m like [it’s] not right yet,” he shared. “To me, the challenge is we have actors who are also professional athletes, so schedule is something that is tough. I’ve been really wanting to push that genre, but to do that you need the right amount of time. So there’s a logistical challenge but also creatively, to do a sequel 20 years later with a new cast and also to be able to, in a relevant way, bring the Looney Tunes back. That’s very important to me to do it right. I feel I’ve done nine different iterations already and we’re going to keep going, but we’re getting closer every day.”
Lin explained that one of the main problems at the moment is Lebron’s hectic NBA schedule. “He’s not retired. When the first one happened, it was during a strike and Michael Jordan was retired. From what I’ve learned in film, you have to be passionate and when you’re ready, you’ll make it happen,” he said.
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As for a comic sidekick, it will be difficult for anyone to step in for Bill Murray. Lin, however, didn’t sound too worried about finding the right person for the sequel 20 years in the making. “There are so many sports and Space Jam fans,” he explained. “I run into them and everybody’s volunteering to be in the movie so I don’t think it’s going to be a problem.”
Directed by Justin Lin and starring LeBron James, Space Jam 2 does not yet have a release date.