By Gaby Wilson and Adam Fleischer
As kids who grew up with Space Jam and remain avid basketball fans, we were immediately overcome with ideas for the reboot. So just as quickly as we heard the announcement that Space Jam 2, starring LeBron James, was happening, we tumbled down a rabbit hole of potential casting options.
The movie doesn't have a release date yet, but when it does hit theaters, here's who you're guaranteed to see. Maybe.
Wilson: OK. HAVE YOU SEEN THIS NEWS?
Fleischer: Okayyyy -- so it's a real thing now?
Wilson: YES. As a Kobe fan, I appreciate that they held the confirmation until after the fanfare of his retirement died down a little.
Fleischer: As a Celtics fan, I appreciate that he retired.
Fleischer: Sorry (I ain’t sorry). So, we know Bron is in this. And if he’s half as good as he was in Trainwreck, he’ll deserve an Oscar.
Who else do we need? I think the obvious first choice is Blake Griffin. Impeccable comedic timing in his commercials. Has shown he’s got some acting chops. What say you?
Wilson: Yes. A billion times, yes. His Broad City episode will never get deleted from my DVR. Also, he played MJ in the live table read Funny Or Die put together. I may or may not have watched it approx. one billion times.
Fleischer: That was an easy one. But before we go any further: Unfortunately, haven’t seen Space Jam in a while. How many guys do we need?
Wilson: There's a website for that, and it's called IMDb.
Fleischer: Never heard of it. Go on.
Wilson: Looks like we're solving for Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Muggsy Bogues, Larry Johnson, Shawn Bradley ... Is that everyone?
Fleischer: If you say so. Blake’s our first draft pick. Who’s next?
Wilson: Well, I feel like you can't make this without Steph Curry, right? He's too big now, and maybe we'll get a Riley cameo?
Fleischer: Feel like this needs to be written into his contract, no?
Wilson: $X for Steph appearance plus Riley cameo in the rider. I would like a plush Riley Curry for Christmas, mom.
Fleischer: Same, but Hanukkah.
I think Dirk could be a great sleeper addition here.
Wilson: OK, he was not top of mind for me, but I can see it. Keep explaining.
Fleischer: The faint German accent makes everything sound just a little funnier and more endearing.
Wilson: Plus, he could take over whatever Monstar Shawn Bradley ended up turning into. Is Russell Westbrook the Muggsy fill-in? Do we care about casting to the original or should we just be looking at who occupies both "Big Enough Of A Deal" and "Funny Enough"?
Fleischer: Yeah, I’m not feeling beholden to mirroring the original cast necessarily. Just looking for the guys that are best equipped to start working toward their post-NBA movie careers.
Wilson: I know this makes it Clipper-heavy, but DeAndre Jordan is very game in these "Meet the Hoopers" commercials.
Fleischer: WE’VE BEEN ROBBED.
Wilson: Maybe we save him for if we can't imagine anyone else.
Fleischer: How about another big man who once played in L.A.? Everyone’s favorite, Dwight Howard?
Wilson: Oh god. I feel like he'll be better at being in this movie than he is at his real job.
James Harden: I was thinking the same thing.
Fleischer: James, you’re not in this movie, get outta here. But, yeah, true.
Lil B: SMH.
Wilson: Oh yeah, Lil B should be in this. GOT TO BE. Also, KD?
Lil B: Man, fuck KD!
Fleischer: Based God, all due respect, but this isn’t your fantasy casting. Just be happy that we’re even considering a part for you in this, since you’re not, despite your best efforts, in the NBA. That said, I agree. I don’t know how Durant fits. I could be persuaded though. What do you think, Gaby?
[Harden and Based God exit.]
Wilson: Haven't you seen Thunderstruck?????? (It's not good. So, yeah, I agree with you.) Maybe they play footage of the "You're the real MVP" speech, and that's his mention. Or maybe they just use that line in the script. Maybe it gets left on the cutting room floor and LeBron talks about it in a late-night interview. IDK.
Fleischer: I like that we’ve gone from imagining the cast to imagining LeBron’s late-night appearances in promoting the movie.
Wilson: Well, honestly, I think we were shafted in the Trainwreck promotion cycle because LeBron was in the middle of playoffs. He was so good in that movie. Unexpectedly good.
Fleischer: Frustratingly good, considering he’s the best (second best?) basketball player in the world, and now suddenly he’s the best actor in the world, too.
Wilson: Yeah, I think it's, like, LeBron James, Leonardo DiCaprio, everyone else? Speaking about basketball, that is …
My next submission, though he doesn’t have the star power on court of these other guys, is Mr. Azalea, a.k.a. I Named My Fantasy Basketball Team After Him, a.k.a. The NBA’s Best Smile, a.k.a. Swaggy P, a.k.a. Nick Young. Are you in?
Wilson: I'm ashamed that I wasn't the one to bring this up. You're right. And he's a HUGE fan of the OG film. He chose "0" as his jersey number because of the Monstars. He and Iggy even named their second bulldog "Space Jam." If he's not in this, he might quit the NBA.
Fleischer: Based on last year, quitting the NBA might not be his own choice.
Wilson: OUCH. JK truth hurts.
Fleischer: JKJK 143 Swaggy.
Wilson: I think we're overlooking another major role here, though. Who's the Bill Murray in this?
Fleischer: Gotta be Drake. He’s essentially the Bill Murray of our generation, no? Everything from the platinum-selling albums down to the Meek Mill beef. Basically the same. And last week in an interview, he did say he had a big acting announcement coming up in May. It’s May ...
Wilson: Oh wow, Drake HAS to be in this. Regardless of whether he's Bill Murray or not. I would KILL to see him play the goofy sidekick to LeBron.
Fleischer: Like here?
Wilson: THAT IS THE DREAM. Wait, how does Lola Bunny fit into this? Is there a stronger female component to this sequel?
Fleischer: Gotta be. What do you think?
Wilson: I really want there to be. Lola was always my favorite part of the original. Maybe she has a younger sister voiced by Rihanna. Wishful thinking?
Fleischer: Strange that you wrote “maybe.”
Wilson: OK, FINE, I NEED THAT TO HAPPEN OR I WON'T WATCH THE MOVIE. (JK, I still will, but I'll write a mean article about it after.) I mean, Rihanna has voice-over experience now from the computer animated classic Home. And there's aliens in that, too! So much synergy. It just makes sense.
Fleischer: Then Drake and Rihanna will give us “I Believe I Can Fly 2.0.” OK, it’s settled then. I’ll see you at the theater sometime in 2017, watching our brainchild come to fruition?
Wilson: Sick. Justin Lin, Andrew Dodge, Charles Ebersol, you guys can send the royalty checks to MTV offices.