LeBron James takes centre court in the first look at the eagerly-anticipated new movie Space Jam: A New Legacy.
While its lead star, and director Malcolm D Lee, are quick to state it's not a sequel, the film follows on from the 1996 original, which saw retired Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan – playing a version of himself – get sucked into the world of the Looney Tunes.
In that outing, the basketball star teamed up with Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and co to win a match against the Monstars, a group of aliens who intend to enslave them as attractions for their failing theme park. In this, James has to perform a similar task – only this time, our heroes are up against the formidable Goon Squad.
Watch Now Space Jam (1996)
"It's one of the biggest games, if not the biggest game, I've ever played in," the athlete-turned-actor teased to Entertainment Weekly. "The Goon Squad is probably the best team ever assembled in basketball history."
Swapping Danny DeVito's extraterrestrial enemy Swackhammer for Don Cheadle's CGI humanoid Al G Rhythm, Space Jam: A New Legacy – which also features Star Trek: Discovery's Sonequa Martin Green – promises to be more of a family affair.
The main crux of the story is this: James' son Dom (Cedric Joe) isn't that into sports, much to his father's dismay, and would rather spent his days learning about tech than training.
When his computer skills draw the attention of Rhythm, the latter dumps James into the animated "Server-verse" and attempts to kidnap Dom and steal some of the player's Instagram followers.
Fortunately for James, he discovers that a basketball game (obviously?) has the power to settle things once and for all – he just needs to assemble a team first.
"Kids are [now] more likely to watch other kids' YouTube channels than cartoons," explained producer Ryan Coogler. "It was a bit challenging to think about, but we were reminded very quickly why the Looney Tunes work.
"When we watch the parts of the film [featuring] the Tunes, you have a smile come over your face because, if you're from our generation, you miss them."
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