Pop-ed: Space Jam 2?

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If you ever wanted to see Michael Jordan, Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, a female Bugs Bunny named Lola, Bill Murray, and Newman from Seinfeld play basketball against a bunch of monsters, then Space Jam is probably the movie for you. I can’t decide if this film is awesome, or simply horrendous – it’s just a strange relic from the past…an oddity from the mid-nineties. Not only did it give R. Kelly a hit single, but it also tells the real story of how Jordan returned to the NBA after retiring to play baseball. Yup. It was Bugs Bunny who inspired Michael Jordan to play basketball again…

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Okay, I made that part up, but this movie did sort of weirdly coincide with Jordan’s big return. But why am I even talking about this movie you might ask? Rumors surfaced last week that Space Jam 2 was being developed with…LeBron James!? WHAT!? The idea of a sequel to Space Jam almost twenty years after the original is just insane to me. Now as it turns out, the LeBron James camp has denied this rumor, but clearly this is something has been discussed on some level. When I read this, I just had to write about it. It’s Space Jam 2 for crying out loud! Should it happen? What about the plot? We’ll cover it all here, including some other fun movie/sports ideas. Here are my thoughts and pontifications on Space Jam 2, or as I like to call it, “What’s up with Space Jam, Doc?”

Should It Happen?

Okay, do we need another Space Jam? No. Of course not. It’s not like Space Jam left us with a lot of unanswered questions. Alvin and the Chipmunks is getting a fourth movie, folks. I think Hollywood has a good history of milking things, even if that milk went stale years ago. But let’s actually look at this from a business perspective…

According to IMDB, the production budget for Space Jam was an estimated $80 Million. The film made over $225 Million worldwide. Those numbers would certainly warrant a sequel, but that was almost twenty years ago. Also, other than Space Jam, do movies starring professional athletes even perform that well at the box office? How did Kazaam and Steel work out for Shaq? I think Shaq Fu sold better.

The bigger problem though is with the actual Looney Tunes. Look, I love the Looney Tunes. But let’s get real here, folks – their last cinematic effort was 2003, Looney Tunes: Back in Action…it tanked. Is there really a craving for the Looney Tunes right now? Are they even in the public consciousness anymore, or just faded icons?

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Other than LeBron James, I suppose the biggest chance this has at making money is the nostalgia factor. The nostalgia wave has been in full effect the last few years, and I’m sure there are many people like myself who would see this based on pure fascination, or being able to say they witnessed the disaster first hand. And to be honest, the idea of Space Jam 2 last week did cause quite a stir. Well…I guess there’s some appetite for it.

So, What’s the Plot, Doc?

Let’s say all the stars align, and the apocalypse does actually happen, making Space Jam 2 a reality. What should it be about? How can we take the Space Jam mythology further?

First of all, just as a quick wrap-up, here’s what happened in the original film (Space Jam Spoilers to follow). Some jerk face monster voiced by Danny DeVito wants the Looney Tunes to star in his carnival, working them as slaves. He sends five of his minions who are pipsqueak little pushovers, so Bugs and the gang challenge them to a basketball game for their freedom. But the little monsters end up stealing the talent from other great players such as Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and so on. But the Tunes get Michael Jordan, win the day, and Jordan goes back to basketball. Yay. So…how can they follow that? Well, here’ s what I’d personally like to see…

First of all, they have to go with LeBron James, or they simply can’t do the movie. It just wouldn’t make any sense. How about the film opens with LeBron and his controversial primetime special, “The Decision.” But instead of taking his talents to South Beach, how about he says this time, “I’ll be taking my talents to Merrie Melodies.” That will really piss everybody off.

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So LeBron has been living a nice quiet existence, playing basketball with his Looney Tune pals. They constantly dominate other cartoon teams like the Mickey Mouse Club, who were only able to get Carmelo Anthony. But when a sadistic upset Cleveland Cavaliers fan vows vengeance on LeBron for leaving Cleveland, he rallies the monsters from the first film, as they also want revenge on Bugs and company. Uh-Oh…will it be curtains for the Tune Squad, or will LeBron and Bugs double-double their way towards victory? And just how Space Jam coincided with Jordan coming back to basketball, the movie ends with LeBron going back to Cleveland! Yay! Isn’t that nice? Yeah, that’s not happening.

Also, one of the aspects that really pissed me off about Space Jam was the selection of the Tune Squad line up. Seriously, how do you not have Road Runner listed as a starter? Are you crazy!? It’s Road Runner! That never made sense to me. But let’s remember, Jordan was the player-coach, and he doesn’t exactly have a great track record with basketball operations. Bottom-line – Road Runner better get his damn due if they make a sequel. “Meep Meep.”

Also, the sequel should be called “Space James.”

Hey, What About Other Space Jam-ish Gimmick Type Movies?

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With all this talk about Space Jam 2, how about some other movies of the same ilk, but in different sports. Yea, why not? Here’s some of the pairings I’d personally like to see…

The Rink of Eternia
Starring: He-Man and the Masters of the Universe…with Sidney Crosby!

In this one, Skeletor tries to take over Castle Grayskull by freezing the ground, so He-Man challenges him and his evil gang to a hockey game. Orko takes it upon himself to recruit Sidney Crosby, as this simple hockey game will decide the entire fate of Eternia! Can you imagine Cringer the Battle Cat in hockey skates? Awesome. I HAAAAAAVE THE PUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!

Cyber Pitch
Starring: The Transformers and David Ortiz

While trying to bring the lost world of Cybertron to Earth, the Decepticons land in Fenway Park where the Autobots follow. The only way to gain control of Cybertron is for the Decepticons to defeat the Autobots in a baseball game. Since Optimus Prime took care of David Ortiz’s cat for a few weeks, he plays for team Prime! Will Big Papi power the Autobots to victory, or will Megatron just take a ton of steroids?

Scrooge McTouchdown
Starring: The DuckTales crew and Peyton Manning

Scrooge McDuck buys an NFL franchise he calls The Launchpads. But when Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t allow them to play in the League, he offers piles and piles of gold to Peyton Manning in order to make the team more viable. Manning sets NFL records with Huey, Dewey, and Louie, and leads the scrappy Launchpads to the Super Bowl. Unfortunately, they lose to the St. Louis Rams when Manning throws four interceptions, despite Gyro building him an anti-choking machine.

Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.