Ever since LeBron James was confirmed as the star and producer of Space Jam 2, it has become one of the most discussed and rumor-mongered films in recent memory, even though its release date is still two years away.
Currently scheduled for a July 16, 2021 release, the question that’s been on everyone’s mind since day one is: which other NBA stars will gather around the King when he sits himself down on his new cinematic throne?
Released in 1996, the original Space Jam will be a full 25 years old by the time Space Jam 2 comes out. But the sequel is sure to follow some of the same plot points as the original, specifically, it’s sure to see LeBron team up with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Warner Bros. cartoon roster to overcome some kind of extraterrestrial threat.
It’s also sure to see some of the biggest modern-day basketball stars join LeBron on the big screen.
Back in ’96, leading man Michael Jordan enlisted the services of Charles Barkley, Muggsy Bogues, Sean Bradley, Patrick Ewing, and Larry Johnson. Those five NBA stars had their basketball powers stolen by the Nerdlucks, who then became the Monstars and battled Jordan and Bugs on the court with the fate of the universe in the balance.
While you can expect cameos from at least one of the original quintet – specifically Barkley – their analogous roles in the sequel will go to players who are currently in their prime, players with broad appeal to the young target audience of the sequel.
As noted in this article by SBD, a few names have essentially been confirmed as co-stars in Space Jam 2. They are Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers, Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors and, least surprising of all, Anthony Davis, who is LeBron’s newest teammate with the LA Lakers.
Refreshingly, WNBA stars Diana Taurasi and Nneka Ogwumike are also expected to appear.
It’s not certain that those five will be the new Monstars; many other NBA players had small cameos in the original, and more than five pros will ultimately be in the Space Jam 2 credits; you can bet your life savings on that.
But, with those five being confirmed this early, it’s likely that most of them will have significant roles.
That only really leaves one or two potential spots on the new Monstars team if, as suspected, the new script follows the same trajectory as the original. According to SBD, the favorites to claim the other spots in the cast are Dwyane Wade and Carmelo Anthony, two of LeBron’s closest friends in the Association.
It should be noted, though, that Wade just played his final season in the NBA, retiring after 16 Hall-of-Fame-worthy years, while Carmelo hasn’t technically retired, but also hasn’t played a game in the NBA since early November 2018, when he was released by the Houston Rockets.
D-Wade and Carmelo aren’t the most relevant players at this point, and two years from now, will only be less relevant to basketball fans.
The next name on the list of favorites is far more intriguing than that pair: Kyrie Irving.
Still just 27 years old, Irving has a complicated history with LeBron from their time together in Cleveland, which could be used to dramatic effect in the movie. He also has a hilarious track record of conspiracy theories and just plain strange quotes. The things that have come out of his mouth are so compelling – for better or worse – that there is a whole reddit section devoted to his musings.
Who rounds out the Space Jam 2 cast will continue to be a hotly debated topic throughout production, but we’re hoping LeBron and his casting team give the roles to the more provocative options, like Kyrie, instead of James’ old cronies.
Who would you most like to see star in Space Jam 2? Let us know in the comments, below.