These redesigns… They’re getting out of hand.
As did many others I know, I loved the film Space Jams as a child. Space Jams was one of the only movies that answered my question about what would happen if Bugs Bunny played basketball, which I loved back then and I appreciate now for helping to make me the man I am today.
Anyway, now I am an adult man and I’ve just seen that there’s a new Space Jams coming out into the theaters sometime in the near or relatively near future. I am not sure of when that specifically is, but I know it’s coming because I see pictures and articles about it all the time which means their marketing’s working effectively. Only days ago did the first promotional still from the film grace our hungry eyes, and boy do they have people up in arms. Why? One word: Redesigns. And one character redesign in particular caught my eye.
See this magazine cover? Yeah, I think it’s pretty clear who I’m talking about. Remember, the first Space Jams introduced a brand new character into the Looney Tunes canon –
That’s right, a human male basketball player named “Michael Jordan”. He was tall, bald, and good at basketball. The whole concept of this character was that he would come into the Looney Tunes’ world, help them defeat a team of aliens at a game of basketball, thus helping the Looney Tunes achieve their end goal of not losing to a team of aliens at a game of basketball.
But take a closer look at that cover again.
Who the hell is this? Are we to believe that this guy is supposed to be Michael Jordan? I don’t think so. He doesn’t even look anything like the actor who played Michael Jordan from the first movie! I understand that the first actor to play Michael Jordan is probably too old to portray him now (actually, neat fact, I just looked it up and the actor’s name is actually Michael Jordan and it looks like he had some experience as a professional athlete, albeit in minor league baseball, so I can understand why they casted him to play the character in the first film), but Warner Bros. could have at least TRIED to get an actor who resembled the original guy in the first place. I mean look at this guy! He’s got HAIR and a BEARD! The original Michael Jordan had neither of those!
According to IMDB, this actor’s name is LeBron James. Already there should be some red flags going off – Why did they get some French guy to play this character? It was made very clear in the first film that Michael Jordan had grown up in North Carolina. This ‘LeBron’ fellow is gonna come out with some nasally Lyonnaise accent and I’m supposed to say “Yeah this dude’s from Greensboro”? I don’t think so. His only prior role was in Trainwreck with Bill Hader and Amy Schumer, so he’s probably a good comedic actor, but Space Jams is a basketball movie with comedic elements, and I don’t even know that this LeBron guy is good at basketball! Do they even have basketball in France, where I assume he must be from given his first name? I thought all the French did for sport was smoke cigarettes and take blood transfusions so they could ride bikes faster. Like I bet you can’t name ONE French basketball player at all, probably not even A SINGLE French basketball player made any headlines or did anything controversial or served as the harbinger for a virus pandemic that was going to ruin everybody’s life last year.
This guy’s not even bald! That was like the easiest thing, if you’re going to recast Michael Jordan, that’s fine, but you can’t just omit aspects of his characterization just to appease the people who complain about when bald guys are in movies playing basketball. It’s ridiculous. I just don’t understand it. But that’s the world we live in nowadays, in this PC culture, where we’re all on our PCs all day having to come up with new ways to make movies and new actors to get to play old characters.
But uh, yeah, safe to say, I won’t be watching the new Space Jams. Both because I don’t care for the way they redesigned the Michael Jordan character and also because of the fact that I don’t remember the directions from my house to the Regal Cinemas in my city and I’ve been kicked out permanently from all AMC theaters for “acting inappropriately” during a showing of Dreamgirls in 2009 (In my defense, I had it mixed up with Showgirls, and I feel that I was acting appropriately for the viewing of that film). I will stick to watching my Space Jams Laserdisc by myself.