Charles Barkley is crying foul over “Space Jam 2.”
The NBA legend took advantage of the spotlight at the 2019 NBA Awards to let his fans know he is most definitely not feeling Warner Bros.’ forthcoming sequel to his 1996 cult hit.
“Not at all,” Barkley said firmly, when Entertainment Tonight’s Deidre Behar asked if he was warming up to the idea of a the b-ball flick reboot.
When told that acclaimed “Black Panther” and “Creed” director Ryan Coogler was now involved with the project, Barkley was not swayed: “Well, listen, I don’t care. Space Jam one was amazing. We don’t need two.”
The original film depicted Michael Jordan’s retirement from the NBA in 1993 — and his triumphant return in 1995. Only in this surreal screen treatment, Jordan recruits the Looney Tunes to beat a team of aliens (a k a the “Monstars”) who have robbed top NBA players, including Barkley, of their “superpowers.”
Far from a slam dunk upon its initial release, the film scored mixed reviews and plenty of eye rolls back in the day. But the way Barkley sees it, “‘Space Jam’ was a classic — I don’t like when people try to imitate something that was already good.”
The sequel was first teased in September 2018, when Los Angeles Laker power forward LeBron James’ production company shared a locker room shot featuring the new film’s “team.”
As James told the Hollywood Reporter last year, “the Space Jam collaboration [with Ryan Coogler] is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie. It’s so much bigger. I’d just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don’t just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people.”
While Barkley refuses to play ball for the sequel, Jordan’s involvement in the sequel is still up in the air.
“There will be a role for Michael [Jordan] if he wants it,” James’ production partner, Maverick Carter, told the outlet. “But Michael Jordan is Michael f—in’ Jordan. It doesn’t matter [if LeBron] calls him, he’s gonna do whatever the hell he wants, which he has earned that right to do. LeBron and Michael are not sitting around talking about ‘Space Jam.’ “
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