“Random Acts of Flyness” creator Terence Nance is officially out as director of Warner Bros.’ sequel to the 1996 live-action/animated sports comedy “Space Jam.” According to Deadline, Nance is being replaced by “Girls Trip” helmer Malcolm D. Lee.
Nance’s exit is said to have been an “amicable” one, with creative differences cited as the reason for his departure.
Lee might actually be the more logical choice here, given his mainstream comedy roots, and proven box office prowess, with 11 feature films on his resume. Although Nance’s surrealist, stream-of-consciousness style — as seen in his 2012 feature debut “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty,” and in his vérité HBO sketch series “Random Acts of Flyness” — may have given the “Space Jam” franchise a fresh creative jolt.
This also would have been Nance’s first studio feature.
Set for a July 16, 2021 release, the live-action/animated “Space Jam 2” will star NBA superstar LeBron James in what will be his first major acting role. James previously played himself in the 2015 Amy Schumer-Bill Hader comedy “Trainwreck.” Don Cheadle will join James in the movie.
Lee will direct from a script penned by Ryan Coogler and “Searching’s” Sev Ohanian. Coogler is also producing, alongside James via his SpringHill Entertainment production company, Duncan Henderson, and Maverick Carter.
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Justin Lin, who was was initially in talks to direct the movie when it was officially announced in 2016, will serve as executive producer, along with Sev Ohanian and Jamal Henderson.
Bradford Young, the Academy Award nominated cinematographer of “Selma,” “A Most Violent Year” and “Arrival,” will serve in the same role here.
Plot details are being kept under wraps. In the first “Space Jam” movie, which starred Michael Jordan, Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes characters, Jordan is enlisted to help the Looney Tunes gang with a basketball game against a group of outer space creatures whose plan, if they win, is to kidnap the Looney Tunes and take them to a failing intergalactic amusement park as the latest attraction.
Directed by Joe Pytka, with a cast that also included Bill Murray and Wayne Knight, as well as NBA stars Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, and Patrick Ewing, it grossed over $230 million in global box office.