'Space Jam 2' Has An Official Release Date, So It's All Really Happening

SpringHill Entertainment

It has been over 20 years since Michael Jordan and the Looney Tunes first teamed up in the ambitious half-animated, half-live action sports comedy Space Jam, but after all these years, it is time to come on and slam, and welcome to the jam once again. This time, LeBron James will be taking over Michael Jordan's lead role, and fans officially have a premiere date to look forward to now. So when does Space Jam 2 premiere? We are going to have to wait a bit, but at least now we can mark our calendars for the next big game between the Tune Squad and the Monstars.

There have been talks about a Space Jam sequel for decades, beginning shortly after the first film was released in 1996 and bubbling up again more recently beginning around 2014. With all these years of only hearsay and rumors, some fans may have given up hope that a Space Jam 2 may ever reach theaters, but now Warner Bros. has announced an official release date for the long-awaited sequel. Sadly, fans will have to wait two and a half years to see the new sequel, but Space Jam 2 is now officially slated to be released on July 16, 2021.

The far-off release date should not come as a huge shock, since making a half-animated, half-live action movie is tricky enough, and Space Jam 2 has the added pressure of needing to live up to such a beloved classic. The new movie is set to begin production in Los Angeles this summer, during the NBA off-season.

And the premiere date is not the only Space Jam 2 news we have gotten. LeBron James' production company SpringHill Entertainment, which is producing Space Jam 2, confirmed the premiere date and released a promotional poster for the upcoming movie.

For now, LeBron James is the only actor cast in Space Jam 2. The movie will be directed by Terence Nance, the creator and star of HBO's series Random Acts of Flyness, and it will be produced by Black Panther director Ryan Coogler.

Space Jam 2 comes after years of failed attempts by Warner Bros. to launch a sequel or spinoff of the 1996 sports comedy. In the years following Space Jam's release, Warner Bros. had worked on a potential sequel with a new villain, along with planned spinoffs including a martial arts movie starring Jackie Chan called Spy Jam, a racing movie starring Jeff Gordon, a sequel starring Tiger Woods, and a skating spinoff starring Tony Hawk called Skate Jam. The production company instead opted to go with the similarly live action and animation-mixed Looney Tunes Back in Action in 2003, and then reportedly nixed plans for any Space Jam followups after that movie underperformed.

The possibility for a Space Jam sequel reemerged in recent years when LeBron James expressed interest in taking over the lead role. The positive reception to James' acting debut in 2015's Trainwreck may have encouraged him even more in taking the part.

Look for Space Jam 2 to jump into theaters on July 16, 2021.