Being one of the world’s greatest athletes comes with having a target on your back. On the court, 29 other teams are vying to topple LeBron James’ reigning champion Lakers. If that’s not stressful enough, off the court (and off Earth), an AI Don Cheadle kidnaps James’ son to force the King’s hand in a winner-take-all game of hoops. In the first trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy, James musters up his talent, imagination, and a few teammates to save his family.
There’s a lot to unpack in the trailer, especially if you want to catch a glimpse at many of the WB properties that make cameos. The Night King pops up, as do a few War Boys from Mad Max: Fury Road. Scooby-Doo and Fred Flintstone grace the screen, along with a Jack Nicholson version of the Joker if you’re quick enough with the pause button around the 1:53 mark. You could say it’s a who’s who of characters if it didn’t feel like it was EVERY character in WB’s IP.
Joining James on the project are a slew of basketball legends, including Chris Paul, Diana Taurasi, Damian Lillard, Steph Curry, and James’ real-life teammates Anthony Davis and Kyle Kuzma. Also in the cast is the aforementioned Cheadle, with Zendaya and Gabriel Iglesias lending their voices, while Sonequa Martin-Green plays James’ wife and Cedric Joe as their son.
It’s been 25 years since Michael Jordan, Bill Murray, and Wayne Knight teamed up with the Tune Squad for the original Space Jam. In that time, both the game of basketball and the technology in movie-making have advanced greatly. As seen in the trailer, the dimensions are spread between real-life, animated 2D, and animated 3D, the last of which looks wonderfully rendered. This looks especially good when Lola and James recreate the epic alley-oop James and former Heat teammate Dwyane Wade threw down in 2010.
You can catch all the action in theaters and HBO Max on July 16th.