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The story of Skate Jam, the failed follow-up to Space Jam

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Starring Tony Hawk

I'm always fascinated by the story of movies that could have been. Projects that get announced and fade into obscurity are a real passion of mine and there are plenty of movies that I want to know about the history of. Like, why did a project get canceled? How was it even greenlit to begin with? For example, remember how there was going to be a Sly Cooper movie? Technically it wasn't canceled so... where is it? Was it axed in favor of the TV show? What's the story behind it?

Which conveniently leads us to the recently unearthed project, "Skate Jam". What exactly is "Skate Jam?" It was originally conceived as a sequel to Space Jam, the hit 1996 movie where Michael Jordan saved the world from aliens by versing them in a basketball game with the Looney Tunes. It was a staple of nearly every 90's kids VHS collection and lord knows I watched it plenty of times. Skate Jam was supposed to star Tony Hawk and feature him skateboarding with other classic Looney Tunes characters, most likely to save the world from some cartoon evil. 

So why are we just finding out about this now? A few days ago, Tony Hawk posted onto Twitter a short tweet explaining that in 2003 he was asked to meet with Warner Bros. about starring in Skate Jam, which was in the early stages of development. The company was going to release Looney Tunes Back in Action and expected it to be a hit. Once it was deemed a box office success, Warner Bros. wanted to get started on a new Looney Tunes feature as fast as possible. So why not get Tony Hawk, one of the world's most popular athletes at the time, and team him up with the Looney Tunes? It worked for Michael Jordan, so Warner Bros. wanted to see if lightning could strike twice.

So why was Skate Jam canceled? Simply put, it was because Back in Action bombed hard and Warner Bros. took the failure of Back in Action as a sign that people didn't want to see any more Looney Tunes movies. If this one failed, why put money into another one that would be doomed to fail as well? So Skate Jam was quickly canceled and was never heard from again. That is until Tony Hawk got bored and decided to talk about it on Twitter. 

All I can really say about this is... huh. I mean, it might have been cool to see what Skate Jam would have looked like, but I can't say I would have seen it, even as a pre-teen. I just was never into skateboarding so I had no vested interested interest in it. Maybe I would have liked the concept if it was made into a video game, like a spin-off of the Pro Skater series starring Looney Tunes characters, but that would really be it. Although I have to thank Tony Hawk for reminding me about his film career because now I had Vietnam flashbacks to his only animated feature film, Tony Hawk in Boom Boom Sabotage, where Tony Hawk gets kidnapped by a CG band of carnies to stop their circus from going out of business. 

So yeah. Skate Jam could have happened, but it didn't. Now let's watch some Boom Boom Sabotage.

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Jesse Lab
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Filed under... #Canceled #history #Looney Tunes #Movies #pre-production #Space Jam #warner bros.

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