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Space Jam: A New Legacy releases trailer where LeBron James gets animated

A new trailer for the highly-anticipated sports comedy film Space Jam: A New Legacy was shared on HBO Max’s official YouTube channel on Wednesday morning.

The feature is centered on LeBron James, who forms a basketball team with several of the Looney Tunes characters in order to save his son from a malevolent computer algorithm.

The flick serves as a sequel to the original 1996 movie and has been in development for several decades.

Balling up: LeBron James was featured in a newly-released trailer for the upcoming sports comedy film Space Jam: A New Legacy that made its debut on YouTube on Wednesday morning 

The trailer begins with James hurtling through an alternate universe before he lands on a planet inhabited by the iconic cartoon characters and becomes animated as well.

The 36-year-old basketball star initially reacts with incredulity after discovering that he has turned into a two-dimensional version of himself and remarks that he is ‘shorter than Kevin Hart’ after seeing that his legs are missing. 

The Lakers team member then meets up with Bugs Bunny and explains that his son has been kidnapped by Al-G Rhythm, played by Don Cheadle, who wants him to play a game of basketball in exchange for his child.

After several of the other Looney Tunes characters are assembled, Daffy Duck steps up as the team’s coach and instructs Yosemite Sam to shoot a basketball, although his friend misinterprets his command and blasts the ball with his pistols.

Storyline: The feature is centered on the professional basketball player, who must team up with several Looney Tunes characters in order to save his son from an evil algorithm

Storyline: The feature is centered on the professional basketball player, who must team up with several Looney Tunes characters in order to save his son from an evil algorithm

Long time coming: The sequel to the hit 1996 feature had been in development for decades before production officially began a few years ago

Long time coming: The sequel to the hit 1996 feature had been in development for decades before production officially began a few years ago

The team is then transformed into three-dimensional versions of themselves and are transported to the basketball arena, where numerous characters from other films and television shows had shown up to watch the match.

Al-G Rhythm then introduces his own version of the Goon Squad, which is comprised of animated versions of various professional athletes, including Anthony Davis and Nneka Ogwumike.

The Tunes react with despair upon seeing the superpowered basketball players, leading Daffy to remark: ‘I’m not a betting duck, but my money’s on the other team.’

Changes: The trailer begins with James being transported to a cartoon world, where he finds that his legs are missing and remarks that he is 'shorter than Kevin Hart'

Changes: The trailer begins with James being transported to a cartoon world, where he finds that his legs are missing and remarks that he is ‘shorter than Kevin Hart’

Driving force: The athlete then speaks with the evil computer program, played by Don Cheadle, who tells him that he must play a game of basketball in order to save his son

Driving force: The athlete then speaks with the evil computer program, played by Don Cheadle, who tells him that he must play a game of basketball in order to save his son 

Before the start of the game, Al-G Rhythm comments that if the Tunes lose, not only will James’ son never be released, they will all be deleted from existence, which causes their coach’s jaw to literally hit the floor.

Lola Bunny, voiced by Zendaya, later gives a motivational speech before the start of the match, leading Bugs to proclaim, ‘if we’re going out, we’re going out looney.’

The former Cavaliers member is then told by his wife, played by Sonequa Martin-Green, that he needs to get their son back before he and the rest of the Tunes take to the court.

High-stakes match: Before the start of the game, Al-G Rhythm exclaims that the Tunes will be erased from existence if they do not win

High-stakes match: Before the start of the game, Al-G Rhythm exclaims that the Tunes will be erased from existence if they do not win

Solid competitors: The computer program's team is made up of several new characters, voiced by athletes such as Anthony Davis and Nneka Ogwumike

Solid competitors: The computer program’s team is made up of several new characters, voiced by athletes such as Anthony Davis and Nneka Ogwumike

Wile E. Coyote goes on to introduce a machine that accidentally sucks him in and creates multiple versions of himself, all of which were shot towards the basket, racking up several points for the team.

The trailer ends with the Tunes convening in their locker room, where James points out that Granny is pouring herself a martini at halftime, which Daffy proceeds to throw at his face.

A sequel to the original Space Jam film first entered development shortly after the release of the movie, which notably starred Michael Jordan and featured performers such as Bill Murray and Danny DeVito, as well as athletes like Larry Bird.

After the former Chicago Bulls team member dropped out of the project, alternative versions of the feature were planned, with Jeff Gordon and Tony Hawk set to appear alongside the Tunes in their own flicks. 

Getting pumped: Lola Bunny gave the team a motivational speech during the trailer, which led Bugs to remark, 'if we're going out, we're going out looney'

Getting pumped: Lola Bunny gave the team a motivational speech during the trailer, which led Bugs to remark, ‘if we’re going out, we’re going out looney’

Doing his thing: The trailer ends after Wile E. Coyote brings a cloning machine onto the court and shoots multiple versions of himself into a basket

Doing his thing: The trailer ends after Wile E. Coyote brings a cloning machine onto the court and shoots multiple versions of himself into a basket

Plans for a sequel were eventually scrapped after the release of the 2003 film Looney Tunes: Back In Action, which did not perform well financially upon its debut.

In 2014, it was announced that work on a follow-up to Space Jam had commenced, and director Terence Nance and producer Ryan Coogler’s involvement were revealed in the subsequent years.

Malcolm D. Lee was eventually brought in to helm the feature just weeks into filming, and physical production came to a close in September of 2019.

Space Jam: A New Legacy is currently set to be released on July 16th, and it will be made available for streaming on the HBO Max service the same day. 

Lengthy production: Although the development of a sequel to Space Jam was announced shortly after the original feature's release, the project was marred by several setbacks

Lengthy production: Although the development of a sequel to Space Jam was announced shortly after the original feature’s release, the project was marred by several setbacks

Coming soon: Space Jam: A New Legacy is expected to be released on July 16th, and it will be made available for streaming on the HBO Max service that same day

Coming soon: Space Jam: A New Legacy is expected to be released on July 16th, and it will be made available for streaming on the HBO Max service that same day


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