In 1996, Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny teamed up with Bill Murray and Daffy Duck for a winner-take-all game of hoops against a team of talent-thieving aliens out to steal our heroes for their amusement park, Moron Mountain. Space Jam brought Michael Jordan out of retirement and captured the imaginations of millions of kids.
Well, after 22 years, Space Jam is back! LeBron James is taking over as lead basketball star, and he’s added a power player as producer. Ryan Coogler, director of Creed, Fruitvale Station, and Black Panther, is going to move behind the chair as producer. A producer is not the same as a director, though. A director is like a coach, calling plays and managing the flow of the game. A producer, on the other hand, is like a general manager, assembling all the players, coaches, and staff, in order to keep the team running smoothly.
So what does this mean that a popular black director is moving into the producer position? Christopher Nolan took a similar role with Man of Steel, and the result was a mix between the tone of The Dark Knight and Superman, with a dark lens filter characteristic of director, Zack Snyder. When it comes to Space Jam, Ryan Coogler’s characteristic black American voice is going to become part of the overtone of the movie, rather than the focus. It also means that Michael B. Jordan, who has appeared in every Ryan Coogler film to date, will likely play at least a supporting role. And if the original star makes a cameo, two Michael Jordans could appear on screen, at the same time! (Please make this happen!)
I suppose it will also mean Kendrick Lamar sings Fly Like an Eagle instead of Seal. All in all, this project is starting to look pretty good.