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Changes to Expect in Space Jam: A New Legacy

As many people know there is a Space Jam 2 in the works that feature LeBron James. The sequel is named Space Jam: A New Legacy and the release date is set for July 16, 2021. A trailer has recently dropped and viewers can expect that this movie will be a little different from the original. In the original Space Jam, the Looney Tunes seek the help of basketball player, Michael Jordan, when the owner of Moron Mountain deems them his new attraction. In Space Jam: A New Legacy, LeBron James must beat Don Cheadle’s character in a game of basketball to get his son back. 


Photo via @markusspiske/unsplash

Nonetheless, many fans are excited about its release, but there are mixed feelings about the new direction the film is going. There are also questions on whether or not it will live up to the original, which is expected with a sequel. Other than the plot there are other elements people are concerned about, including characters Pepé Le Pew and Lola Bunny, and the rules of this world. 

 

A huge change and one of the most controversial topics about the film was the decision to cut Pepé Le Pew entirely. It has been stated that the character Pepé Le Pew was removed because he reinforces rape culture. Those who watch Looney Tunes and are familiar with the character know he gets very handsy with other female characters. Whether his affection is accepted or not, it does not stop him. Encounters with him and Penelope Pussycat usually ended with her doing anything she could to get away from him.


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Many Looney Tunes and Space Jam fans do not agree with the decision and want the character to make an appearance. However, there are some that are appreciative of this because they believe it is a step to denormalizing rape culture. 

 

Lola Bunny was also redesigned to desexualize the character. This time around Lola Bunny will not be wearing a crop top or short shorts, instead, she will be wearing the same uniforms as the boys. Director Malcolm D. Lee made the executive decision because he felt Lola was very sexualized for a kid’s film. Lee states, “This is 2021. It’s important to reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters.” 


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Another change is the setting, and instead of being in space, they will be playing ball in what looks to be cyberspace. In the trailer James is sucked into some kind of vortex, landing him into a virtual realm. From that virtual realm, he is sent to Tune World, where he meets the Looney Tunes and begins to assemble his basketball team. 

But, when it is time to play ball, the Looney Tunes are reanimated in realistic CGI. Also, during the game viewers noticed a mixture of cartoons and real people in the audience. So, the big question is, what are the rules of this world? In the first Space Jam, Jordan was able to do all the things toons could do, because he was in the toon world. In Space Jam: A New Legacy, they are in this new virtual world, so there may be some new rules. It looks like we will know in July when this highly anticipated film will be released.

My name is Destiny Brooks and I am from Atlantic City, New Jersey. I attend Clark Atlanta University, majoring in mass media arts, with a concentration in radio,tv, film and a minor in theatre. My interests lie in the entertainment industry and and all aspects of Black life. In 2019 I wrote a review on the movie Black Panther, which was published in the Stockton Argo, my previous school’s newspaper.
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