If you were a fan of the 1996 kids classic Space Jam, you probably already know that the flick is getting a sequel for a new generation.
LeBron James and Black Panther director Ryan Coogler serve as producers for Space Jam 2, which is set to hit theaters on July 16, 2021, according to Deadline. Art house director Terence Nance was initially set to direct the project, but now Deadline reports that he’s been swapped out for Girls Trip director Malcolm D. Lee.
Sources say Nance’s departure was friendly and he left because of creative differences with the studio/producers. However, one must wonder if the studio essentially didn’t trust an indie director with experimental tendencies.
Nance is known for unconventional movies like 2012’s An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, which mixes animation and live action to tell a love story.
Then, in 2018, Nance garnered more critical acclaim with his HBO series Random Acts of Flyness, which also mixed live action, animation and other unconventional forms of filmmaking to cover topics of race, gender and politics in America.
With such an experimental approach to filmmaking, Nance could have provided a fresh take on Space Jam, one that was innovative yet still entertaining for the fans. Now that Terrence is out and Malcolm D. Lee is in, things could change drastically.
Where Lee might lack in experimentation, he makes up for in strong narratives with box office success. This is the same man behind 1999’s The Best Man, which grossed over $34 million on a $9 million budget. Lee also led a little movie called Girls Trip, which went on to gross over $140 million worldwide with a production budget of $28 million.
While Nance might bring fresher ideas to Space Jam, Lee can no doubt create a character-driven movie that could impact a wider audience.
If only we could be in the board room to peep which ideas Nance was pitching vs. Lee. Guess we’ll have to wait and find out if Lee is the perfect man for the job.
What do you think of the switch up? Are you here for Lee or do you think they should’ve given Nance a chance?