Ebersols Aboard To Produce And Script Warner Bros’ ‘Space Jam 2′ As A Starring Vehicle For LeBron James

p-jamlogoEXCLUSIVE: What’s up, doc? A broken nose. Ouch! After he recovers from the injury suffered in last night’s game, NBA MVP LeBron James will be ready for his close-up — with Bugs Bunny.

Broadcasting veteran Dick Ebersol‘s sons have come on board to develop the sequel to 1996 animated/live-action hit Space Jam as a starring vehicle for James. The player is the Miami Heat Miami Heat Media Day - Miamistar who broke his nose during last night’s game against the Oklahoma City when the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka got him in the face after a dunk.

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Another Space Jam film? Why not? The first film, which broke ground for Warner Bros and starred then-Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan and a slew of other top NBA players, ended up grossing $230M worldwide for the studio.

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charlie ebersolCharlie Ebersol, who already has a good relationship with the NFL through his NFL Characters Unite series on USA Network, is about ready to do the same with the NBA. He has been brought on to the produce the picture through his production company, The Company, from a script by his brother Willie Ebersol. The latter won an Emmy for the London Olympics. This is his first screenplay.

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Jon Berg is production executive on the project at Warner Bros. I well remember when the studio produced the first one and delighted in the fact that top NBA players including Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Danny Ainge, Tyron “Muggsy” Bogues, Vlade Divac, Cedric Ceballos, Larry Johnson, Shawn Bradley and Paul West all did deals to be part of the film during a key basketball game between their trademark characters. The film also included sports commentators Ahmad Rashad and Jim Rome as well as NBA coach Del Harris. The first film was championed internally by the studio’s consumer products division(former exec Dan Romanelli) and former production exec Lucy Fisher and, of course, greenlit by studio chairs Bob Daly and Terry Semel.

At the time it was made, Michael Jordan was just returning to the NBA after venturing into baseball. The studio actually set up a tent on the lot with a basketball court that was rented from Long Beach State University. And NBA players came in not only to mess around on the court after production but also to get a look behind the scenes at the production. On opening weekend, it was against the 2nd week of the Mel Gibson-starring Ransom and the tracking was such that it looked like Space Jam would be run over, but to everyone’s surprise — lifted strongly by family Saturday and Sunday — Space Jam came out No. 1 with an opening of $27.5M and introduced Michael Jordan to a new generation of children.

This one should be equally power-charged with NBA players and beloved Warner Bros characters — a fun departure from the more serious fare Charlie Ebersol has been involved with.

Space Jam 2 marks Charlie Ebersol’s first major film deal as he is best known for unscripted TV such as The Moment, about second chances for people who are given the opportunity to reclaim their career dreams after their lives have taken an unexpected turn. Ebersol’s first film was the 2006 documentary Ithuteng: Never Stop Learning, which received wide critical acclaim and numerous humanitarian awards, such as the inaugural OneXOne Award, at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005. Intent is the character of the man. Oprah Winfrey reportedly was so moved by his film that she donated $1.14M to the Ithuteng Trust School, an organization dedicated to the positive development and education of at-risk children in South Africa.

This is the second big sequel for Warner Bros that came to light today. The other being The Lego Movie, which they decided to move forward on in only two weeks. The Space Jam took 18 years. Hey, better late than never.

Comments (61)

  • Born on third, thinks he hit a triple.

    Comment by Anonymous — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 4:25pm PST  
    • It was very easy for the Bourne series. Even more – take a look at the points, third part is better than second.

      Comment by Katie — Saturday February 22, 2014 @ 8:22am PST  
    • Really this :)

      Comment by Richard Kuohn — Saturday February 22, 2014 @ 9:11am PST  

    Comment by OMG — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 4:29pm PST  
    • are you old enough to be on the computer without your mommy???

      Comment by Anonymous — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 5:10pm PST  
      • Are you? The guy’s excited, leave him alone.

        Comment by Delsin — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 5:13pm PST  
      • you do realize that space jam is from ’96 and kids would have had to be like 4 or 5 to remember the movie, right

        the kids that remember the original would probably be in their twenties now

        probably old enough to use the computer without adult supervision

        Comment by Anonymous — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 9:11pm PST  
        • That’s the boat I’m in. I’m 21 and actually very excited for this. Hopefully it’s decent at the least.

          Comment by BiscuitCultist — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 10:03pm PST  
        • Okay, well, I was born in ’94 and I remember this movie vividly, and I also have a younger sister who was born in ’01 who watched this movie many times. The first movie didn’t dissipate after ’96.

          Comment by Really? — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 10:11pm PST  
          • I was born in ’85. This movie hit when I was it’s prime demographic. It was awesome. It still is awesome. I’m 29 now….i’m gonna go see this. Nostalgia for the win.

            Comment by chum lee — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 10:56pm PST  
    • right
      awesomely horrible
      awesomely laughable

      Comment by whatwhat — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 7:18pm PST  
  • YES!!!

    Comment by John — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 4:34pm PST  

    Comment by NO — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 4:35pm PST  

    Story should be Lebron retired to play NFL so we can actually see him in some pads.

    Better get that nose checked out though.

    Comment by D-Wade — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 4:35pm PST  
    • That makes no fucking sense since Mj actually played baseball and went back to basketball.

      They should rename the sequel to flop jam since that’s what basketball has evolved to these days.

      Comment by will — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 4:47pm PST  
      • MJ aka Michael Jorden was a star back in the 90′s and we are in the 2010′s. Get over it.

        Comment by Angel — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 9:59pm PST  
  • No. Just NO. Leave our childhoods alone and stop trying to shove that egotistical dbag down the world’s throats. Let him win his games, retire, and disappear to the mountains with the money he’s already made.

    Comment by Seriously F**k Everyone Involved — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 4:41pm PST  
    • Have you watched Space Jam recently? It’s not a good movie. It’s kind of terrible.

      Comment by Josh — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 5:21pm PST  
      • Yes…it is, by a technical standpoint. A god awful movie. But it has an entertainment level that seems to go beyond being good or bad.

        It’s one of those movies that despite being bad…you just can’t hate.


        Comment by Max465 — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 6:12pm PST  
        • I hate it pretty thoroughly. Like, it might be my least favorite movie I’ve ever seen. I’d be upset at a sequel happening, not because it would tarnish the first one, but because it would continue the tarnishing of the Looney Tunes the original started. Space Jam is awful.

          Comment by printthelegends — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 8:20pm PST  
  • Ugh

    Comment by XYZ — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 4:48pm PST  
  • This is a joke.

    Comment by Chico — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 4:54pm PST  
  • Does Lebron quit the Tune Squad halfway through the movie and join the Monstars? Only way it’d be truthful.

    Comment by Troy — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 4:55pm PST  
    • You. I like you.

      Comment by Brendan — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 9:07pm PST  
  • Do it

    Comment by Bo — Friday February 21, 2014 @ 4:55pm PST  
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