As huge fans of the original cartoon/live-action crossover from 1996, it's fair to say we were looking forward to seeing the first trailer for Space Jam 2 (Space Jam: A New Legacy).
But never in our wildest dreams did we imagine it would be such a slam dunk of a teaser!
Packed to the backboards with Easter Eggs, awesome reveals and King James mixing it up with the entire Warner Bros. IP universe, we had to break this down, moment by moment.
Let’s get started…
Playing a fictionalised version of himself, NBA and LA Lakers legend LeBron James is facing a dilemma from the trailer’s tip-off. He wants his son Dom – played by Cedric Joe (Loving Him, Modern Family) to follow in his size 15s to a career in basketball.
Problem is, Dom’s more into coding and videogames than three-pointers.
“You never let me just… do me,” he tells his dad during an argument after a meeting at Warner Bros.’ offices before storming out of a lift. Ouch.
If LeBron thinks he’s got his work cut out for him mending bridges with Dom, it’s about to get a whole lot more complicated.
As King James exits the lift to catch up with Dom, we glimpse the lift’s LCD floor indicator glitch out and show a stylised, circuit-like “ALG”. That’s short for Al G Rhythm (Algorithm, geddit?) – the name of Space Jam: A New Legacy’s arch-villain. Played by Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda, Avengers: Endgame), Al G is an AI seemingly in charge of Warner Bros’ intellectual properties stored on the gigantic Warner 3000 servers.
Servers which we now see LeBron and Dom walking through en route to interfacing with an undulating globe thingy that transports first son then father into the virtual world.
Here’s where the Space Jam: A New Legacy trailer goes off-the-scale awesome. We see LeBron falling through a virtual cosmos populated with planets, each dedicated to a franchise somewhere within the sprawling Warner Bros. universe.
LeBron is virtually reconstituted before Al G, but Dom is nowhere to be seen.
Al G welcomes LeBron to the Server-verse before giving the NBA legend an ultimatum – “The only way you’re getting your son back is if you and I play a little basketball.”
But, before LeBron can get Dom’s whereabouts out of Al G, he’s dismissed – down to Tune World with the ‘rejects’.
Fun fact: when Al G’s assistant pulls the lever to select LeBron’s destination we see a bunch of possible destinations scroll past.
Weirdly we see the names of the planets in our solar system but also, Hogwarts, Orbit City (home to the 1962-63 Hanna Barbera cartoon family, The Jetsons), Westeros, Bedrock (The Flintstones’ home), Thundera (home to the 1980s cult cartoon, ThunderCats), and Emerald City (Wizard of Oz)!
Wait, are Harry Potter and the Wicked Witch of the West in this?
With this, LeBron falls through the Looney Tunes cartoons’ iconic concentric circles and crashes unceremoniously into the Road Runner desert.
Lebron emerges as a Looney Tunes 2D animation and brilliantly compressed concertina-style by his fall!
Thankfully, the classic cartoon trick of blowing into your thumb to reinflate yourself works a trick for our hero, whereupon LeBron and Bugs Bunny (Jeff Bergman) meet for the first time.
Bugs and LeBron look set to navigate the Server-verse to find the classic Looney Tunes gang and bring them together for the epic stand-off - Tune Squad vs. Goon Squad.
Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird (both Eric Bauza), Wile E. Coyote, Lola Bunny (Zendaya), Speedy Gonzales (Gabriel Iglesias), Granny (Candi Milo), Tasmanian Devil (Jim Cummings), are all on the roster.
Along with Yosemite Sam, Sylvester, Foghorn Leghorn, Elmer Fudd (all Jeff Bergman), Porky Pig (Bob Bergen) and, last but not least, Gossamer the orange furry monster.
The shots of characters from the entire Warner Bros. Server-verse gathering for the big game are a cartoon and film-lover’s dream.
En route to the showdown, we spied Scooby Doo, The Iron Giant, Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, The Animaniacs and King Kong.
Plus, in a brief court-side shot of Al G Rhythm alone we can see what looks like The Matrix’s Agent Smith, IT’s Pennywise the clown, a flying monkey from the Wizard of Oz and Mr Freeze from 1997’s Batman & Robin.
Ride the pause button and you’ll also see deep-cut cartoon cameos such as Space Ghost, Peter Potamus, and Frankenstein Junior rubbing shoulders with Mad Max: Fury Road’s War Boys, two Jokers (Cesar Romero’s and Jack Nicholson’s), a pair of Catwomen (Eartha Kitt’s 1960s Catwoman, and Michelle Pfeiffer’s 1992 version), The Mask (1994) in his canary-yellow zoot suit, and a bunch of droogs from Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971).
As we mentioned before – it’s absolutely wild and we can't wait to see it in full glory on the big screen!
What did you think of the trailer?
Space Jam: A New Legacy is released on 23 July 2021