It’s been 25 years since the iconic and cult animation live-action hybrid ‘Space Jam’ was first released so expanding on its universe in ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ has been a long time coming. Where legendary Basketball player Michael Jordan and his love for all things Nike lead the way in the original, its follow-up has had a 21st century revamp with the injection of the energy of its new lead, and yet another Basketball icon LeBron James, and again, along with the loony tunes, both kids and adults alike are more than familiar with, Nike has jumped back on board to unveil a whole new range of products to tie in with the film.
In the film, LeBron James plays the role of a concerned Father when his son has been sucked into n a digital space by a rogue A.I. LeBron must get them home safe by leading Bugs, Lola Bunny and the whole gang of notoriously undisciplined Looney Tunes to victory over the A.I.’s digitized champions on the court: a powered-up roster of professional basketball stars as you’ve never seen them before.
During a recent press briefing with the team at Nike and one of the film’s producers Maverick Carter, the relevance of the sportswear is just as integral to the story as anything else for connecting to its younger audiences.
“The biggest moment in the movie for our characters is the final game,” says Carter. “It culminates into this epic showdown with real consequences for everyone playing. The game matters. So when a kid sees the characters wearing Nike gear, their imagination makes the connection that Nike gives you the tools to uncover the best version of yourself.”
Previewed in the film is the new LeBron 19. It boasts a double-chambered Air Max unit in the heel and a newly shaped Zoom Air forefoot unit for a reliable underfoot ride for James – I couldn’t help but be reminded of Marty McFly’s futuristic trainers from ‘Back to the Future 2’. According to Nike Basketball footwear designer Jason Petrie, the new platform was inspired by the futuristic magic behind the movie.
“In designing the LeBron 19, we were definitely guided by what was happening in the film,” says Petrie. “We wanted to give LeBron a brand-new feeling that was synonymous with an otherworldly, space-age kind of look.” From trainers to shorts, Jersey’s to Varsity jackets there is a whole range of apparel that every one of us can enjoy (my money’s going straight on the Lola Bunny Converse), even converse celebrates the Tune Squad’s return to the big screen with a signature collection of court icons and gear for all ages. Two iconic basketball legacies unite featuring Bugs, Lola, Tweety, Daffy and a Tune Squad LeBron, it’s the looniest take on your favourite court classics.
Directed by Malcolm D. Lee and an innovative filmmaking team including Ryan Coogler and Maverick Carter. James stars alongside Oscar nominee Don Cheadle (the “Avengers” films, “Hotel Rwanda”), Khris Davis (“Judas and the Black Messiah,” TV’s “Atlanta”), Sonequa Martin-Green (TV’s “The Walking Dead,” “Star Trek: Discovery”), newcomer Cedric Joe, Jeff Bergman (“Looney Tunes Cartoons”) and Eric Bauza (“Looney Tunes Cartoons”).
The Space Jam: A New Legacy collection from Nike and Converse releases in July on nike.com, SNKRS and at select retailers.
The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, releasing in theatres worldwide July 16 and available in the U.S. on HBO Max for 31 days from the theatrical release.