NBA star LeBron James isn’t having an easy time filling roles for his upcoming film Space Jam 2, according to a new report.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the LeBron James-starring film can’t attract top talent because other basketball players already have contracts with sneaker companies other than Nike, which is part of the Space Jam brand.
It’s more complicated than it seems. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that fellow All-Stars Stephen Curry, James Harden and Kevin Durant likely won’t join James on the celluloid court. But that has more to do with sneaker contracts and the film’s script — the latest version is being penned by Black Panther’s Ryan Coogler and Searching’s Sev Ohanian — and less to do with James’ ability to enlist high-profile ballers. In fact, Warner Bros. is responsible for roping in talent, not James.
As to why shoes matter, Nike is essential to the Space Jam franchise. The 1996 first film was based on the “Hare Jordan” commercial directed by Joe Pytka, who also helmed the feature. That makes the involvement of Curry (Under Armour contract through 2024) and Harden (Adidas) nearly impossible, sources say. Durant, though a key member of Team Nike, is pursuing his own Hollywood efforts, including an Apple series, Swagger, based on his life.
James has been attempting to break into Hollywood over the last few years. Since President Trump’s election, the Los Angeles Lakers player has also ratcheted up the political commentary.
In December, he claimed that the “old white men” who own NFL teams “got that slave mentality.”
“It’s like, ‘This is my team. You do what the f— I tell y’all to do. Or we get rid of y’all,'” he said.
— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) December 22, 2018
In any case, the 34-year-old may want to spend more time focusing on his athletic career, as it has been faltering badly recently.