Space Jam director: LeBron James will never be Michael Jordan
The 20-year anniversary of the release of “Space Jam” was on Tuesday, once again sparking discussions about a possible sequel to the movie featuring LeBron James or some other NBA superstar. Joe Pytka, the director of the film, has one very simple thought about “Space Jam 2.”
Don’t do it.
In an interview with Derek Lawrence of Entertainment Weekly, Pytka said he believes making a “Space Jam” sequel would be a horrible idea.
“I think it’s ridiculous to try and make a different movie out of it,” he argued. “I can’t see it. I can’t imagine how it could be what that film was. Not that Space Jam is a great movie, but it had something that touched that period of time because of who those athletes were and it doesn’t exist anymore.”
No one would argue that “Space Jam” was a masterpiece, but it made a ton of money both at the box office and with merchandise. Most of that had to do with Michael Jordan being the star of the film, and Pytka doesn’t believe there is any athlete — not even LeBron — who could replicate that success today.
“I’ve worked with LeBron and I’ve worked with Steph Curry, and as good a player as LeBron is and as good a player as Steph Curry is, they’re not Michael Jordan,” Pytka said. “We will never see another player like him. He was a transcendent figure, much like Muhammad Ali. He was beyond his sport. These guys aren’t.”
It’s tough to predict how strong LeBron’s legacy will be when he’s done playing. There are kids today who are obsessed with Jordan and the Jordan brand who weren’t even alive when His Airness was dominating the NBA. Will LeBron’s brand remain that strong after he retires? Only time will tell.
In any event, it seems like a sequel to “Space Jam” will happen at some point. Jordan has never said the movie shouldn’t be made, but the player he would pick to play the lead role might surprise you.