The second movie of the much-anticipated Space Jam series, Space Jam: A New Legacy, debuts today. Once again Bugs Bunny and the Looney Tunes are the animated hoopers seeking assistance to battle off the evil opposition. After defeating the Monstars, there is a new challenger seeking a victory. Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard joins LeBron James and a cast of other basketball stars to portray the story of a father valiantly trying to rescue his child.
In the first ‘Space Jam’, the Monstars were led by Swackhammer (Danny Devito), an evil theme park owner. The Monstars start out as Nerdlucks. They were tiny aliens seeking to kidnap Bugs Bunny from Earth, until Bunny challenged them to a basketball game. Increasing in size, the Nerdlucks stole talent from NBA stars including Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Muggsy Bogues, Shawn Bradley, and Larry Johnson. Michael Jordan, the lead, came to the rescue to assist the Looney Tunes in defeating the Monstars. Since then, there has been a cast shift for ‘A New Legacy’ on both sides.
In ‘A New Legacy’, James is the lead teaming up with the Tune Squad in a game of basketball trying to get he and his son out of the digital space, run by AI-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle). They are up against the digitized Goon Squad, led by AI. The Goon Squad is represented by players they are most inspired by:
Anthony Davis (The Brow) — Lakers
Damian Lillard (Chronos) — Trail Blazers
Klay Thompson (Wet-Fire) — Warriors
Diana Taurasi (White Mamba) — Mercury
Nneka Ogwumike (Arachnneka) — Sparks.
The Brow (Anthony Davis)
Davis is a bird-like character that can fly and probably dunk and block any shot with that ability. In real life, he does use his 6’10” frame and 7’6” wingspan to make his presence known around the rim, especially with his defensive prowess. His character’s look and abilities makes more sense from his days on the Pelicans, but he’s a champion with the Lakers so we won’t discuss that. I don’t think flying is particularly fair in the game of basketball, but we’ll how the Toon Squad counters that.
Chronos (Damian Lillard)
Lillard plays a robot-like character, which is similar to his game. When its a late-game situation, he technically does become a robot with his play in crunch time. He has an “on” switch where he goes by the moniker “Dame Time” to signify this. I wonder if he’ll tap at his wrist or actually be touching some device to indicate “Dame Time”. I know Rip City fans have witnessed this plenty of times throughout his 9 year career.
Wet-Fire (Klay Thompson)
Thompson’s character, Wet-Fire, looks more like Jusuf Nurkic, but his play is him in real life…no seriously. In basketball terms, when someone classifies your jump shot as “wet”, that means you are a knock-down shooter, in which he is. And being able to transition into fire, only means trouble for the Tune Squad because he just won’t miss. Let’s not forget Thompson’s 60-point game where he only took 11 dribbles all in 29 minutes…yikes.
White Mamba (Diana Taurasi)
Taurasi is a snake-like character where she was given that name (White Mamba) by Kobe Bryant, being close friends off the court.. As everyone knows, Bryant’s moniker was “Black Mamba.” It also fits in with her play on the court with her swift handles and ability to slither through the defense to get buckets on her prey.
Arachnneka (Nneka Ogwumike)
Ogwumike is definitely going to be a nightmare on both ends. Normally, you have to defend someone with two arms. Being a spider-like character, she has six arms and two legs. In real life, she is a solid rebounder and finisher around the rim with a relentless style of player. She never gives up and spiders don’t either when you attempt to remove them from your bedroom. I already have arachnophobia so I definitely would like to be on the bench while she’s on the court, but good luck to the Toon Squad.
With this movie taking 24 years to debut, many different athletes were considered for featured roles. After Michael Jordan’s refusal to do another movie, Tony Hawk, Tiger Woods, and Jeff Gordon supposedly made the list. Then LeBron was brought on, which preserved the basketball theme. With upgrades in technology and a seemingly much improved cast, this movie looks to be exciting. The characters are unique and the directors did a great job with connecting the abilities of the real NBA/WNBA players with their on-screen counterparts. The debut for ‘A New Legacy’ comes today July 16, 2021.
You can see the film in theaters or watch it in full on HBO Max.
Tune in and once you’ve seen the movie, please comment below what your thoughts were and how it compares to the first Space Jam.