“Space Jam” sequel is a great way to reach new generation of basketball fans

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“Space Jam” sequel is a great way to reach new generation of basketball fans

LeBron James will star in

LeBron James will star in "Space Jam 2" which begins filming summer 2019.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

LeBron James will star in "Space Jam 2" which begins filming summer 2019.

Courtesy of Creative Commons

Courtesy of Creative Commons

LeBron James will star in "Space Jam 2" which begins filming summer 2019.

Mason Procell, Staff Writer

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Since the film’s debut in 1996, “Space Jam” has become a cultural staple for those who grew up in the ‘90s. A cross between “Looney Tunes” and the NBA, many fans would even credit the film for giving them the inspiration to play basketball.  

Starring Michael Jordan during his athletic prime, the film has become the highest-grossing basketball film of all time with box office sales of over $230.4 million worldwide. Even professional NBA players today have credited “Space Jam” as introducing them to the sport.

Recently, though, a sequel to the film was announced to begin filming this summer. But this film will star LeBron James as the lead.

With this announcement came some backlash from fans of the original, claiming it will ruin the nostalgic experience of the first film. That being said, this sequel is bound to introduce an entire new generation to basketball  and become a classic for them.

Children growing up today do not have the same kind of film that will have an impact on them like “Space Jam” had on children who were raised in the ‘90s. Why should the forthcoming generation be denied a film with the potential to inspire them like the original has inspired us? Is a sequel really going to ruin the nostalgia of “Space Jam”?

Regardless of whether or not the movie is successful, it would not take away from the legacy of its predecessor  For example, “Grease 2” is arguably one of the worst sequels in history, but the original “Grease” is  not denied as a gem by anybody just because its follow-up was lackluster.

The same applies to “Space Jam.” If anything, it is great that today’s youth has someone to look up to in a similar way that we looked up to Jordan. Even if James, who joined the Los Angeles Lakers partially in order to expand his entertainment brand, leaves little to be desired, Jordan’s original film will remain undeniably iconic.

In its beginning stages, people had similar dissatisfaction with the premise of “Space Jam.” The thought of a film starring Jordan and “Looney Tunes” characters sounded crazy, even to the producers of the film. Is it okay to disregard a sequel when its original proved to be above expectations? Who is to say that James’ “Space Jam 2” won’t surprise us just as much as its predecessor?

Even though “Space Jam” is considered  a success today, it can also be noted that its reviews upon release were less than enthusiastic. Despite the negative reviews in the beginning, “Space Jam” stood the test of time and continues to be a classic for fans everywhere. No matter what the sequel does for the franchise, it cannot take away the impact of the original.

The negativity in 1996 has had no effect on “Space Jam,” and any potential negativity the sequel receives won’t either. There is no ruining the nostalgia of a culturally iconic film’s legacy. End of story.

“Space Jam 2” is set to hit theaters June 2021.